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Entered, according to Act of Congresf , in the year 1854, by 


in the Clerk^a Office of the Dittrict Court of the United States for the 

Northern District of New Tork. 



Sixty years ago, the territory now embraced in the wealthy and popu* 
lous County of Jefferson, was an unexplored wilderness, and so little wai 
known of its geography, that in a statistical work of that period,* Black 
River is said to rise ^ in the high country near the sources of Canada 
Creek, which falls into the Mohawk River, and takes its course north 
w^^ and then north east, until it discharges itself into the Cataraqui 
or Iroquois River, not fiir from Swegaucbee ; it is said to be navigable 
for bateaux up to the lower fiills, sixty miles, which is distant from th« 
flourishing settlement of Whitestown twenty-five miles." On none of 
the early French or English maps is this important stream represented* 
The period embraced in the following pages, is therefore mostly within 
the memory of those still living. 

The important duty of preserving local history, and recording th« 
minor events that attend the origin of institutions and communities, it 
too often neglected until a period when truth becomes blended with 
fable, and the original materials one by one disappearing, leave the 
analysis of events involved in an impenetrable mist of conflicting tradi« 
tions. In collecting the materials for this work, original sources of in« 
formation have been sought, where these could be reached, always pre* 
fering to rely upon written or published statements, rather than unaided 
memory. In the course of these inquiries, the records of the countyy 
and the several towns; of religious and other societies; the files of local 
papers, and the correspondence of prominent public citizens, the records 
and documents of land offices, and the archives of the state at Albany, 
have been consulted. £very town and village has been visited by th6 
author, and personal interviews obtained with great numbers of promi- 
nent citi^ns and pioneers. The relative value to be attached to thes* 
several sources of information, has been carefully examined, with the 
earnest desire to arrive at a correct knowledge of the varied subjects that 
make up the following volume. While sectional, political, or personal 
interests have been carefully avoided, it has been our highest ambition 

• WiBlerboiham'tf View of iW Am«ricaD United States, 1790, vol. ii, p. 900. 

4 Preface. 

to give prominence to every department of industry that constitutes the 
present wealth, and promises the future welfare of the county. Tliat 
errors may have occurred in so great a number of names and dates as 
are here given, is probable. The indulgence of the reader is solicited, 
in marking such as had been observed in the subsequent reading of 
the proofs, and which are noted at the close of the volume. 

Our acknowledgments are tendered to the serveral editors of the Jef- 
fersonian. New York Reformer, Democratic Union, Northern State Jour- 
nal, Jefierson Democrat, and Jeficrson Farmer, for the uniform kind- 
ness which has been evinced in calling public attention to these inquiries. 
To the Hon. Wm. C. Pierrepont, Elijah B. Allen, and Wm. T. Searles, for 
traveling facilities in collecting these data, and to the above named gen^ 
tiemen, and the following citizens of the county, for essential aid in fur- 
nishing materials for the work, viz: To Messrs. J. Mullin, R. Lansing, 
T. C. Chittenden, J. F. Starbuck, J. Clarke, Wm. Smith, O. V. Brainard, S. 
and £. S. Massey, J. C. Sterling, J. Fairbanks, P. G. Keyes, L. Pad- 
dock, J. L. Marsh, County Clerk; Alvin Hunt, Daniel Lee, Clark Rice, 
Drs. A. Trowbridge and R. Goodall, and the Rev. Messrs. J. Bruytony 
G. M. Hill, P. Snyder, J. H. Stewart and J. S. Holme, of Watertown ; 
Col. E. Camp, Rev. L. A. Sawyer, Rev. J. Burchard, Messrs. T. S. Hall, 
E. Fields, E. M. Luff, Capt A. Ford, Capt Wm. Vaughan and Capt. S. 
McNitt, of Sackets Harbor; Dr. F. A. Knapp, of Smithville; E. Burn- 
ham, Dr. L. Barney and Rev. P. Morse, of Henderson ; J. R. Bates, of 
Ellis Village; J. D. Houghton, S. Hackley, D. Ellis, C. Littlefield and W. L. 
Cook, of Belleville; D. Wardwell, of Mannsville; S. D. Hungerford, W. 
Benton and Rev. P. C. Headley, of Adams; Rev. D. Spear, of Rodtnan; 
M. Eames, C. Hopkins, Dr. C. P. Kemball and J. Felt, of Rutland ; N. 
Hubbard and A. Lathrop, of Champion; P. S. Stewart, Dr. E. West and 
T. S. Hammond, of Carthage; Wm, McAllaster and Rev. C. B. Pond, 
of Antwerp; R. Ormiston, Jr., of Ox Bow; Wm. Fayel, of Theresa; J. 
Clark, of Plessis; E. G. Merrick and Rev. J. P. Jennings, of Clayton; J. 
N. Rottiers, of Orleans; S. D. Sloan, of Evans* Mills; O. Child, of Phila- 
delphia; J. B. Kirby, J. E. Brown, Wm. Lord, G. Brown, Col. J. Brad- 
ley, Rev. G. B. Eastman and Rev. S. Holmes, of Brownville : C. V. R. 
Horton and Wm. Dewey, of Lyme; and John B. Esselstyn, of Cape Vin- 
cent To Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, of Albany, are we indebted for the use v^i 
the several cuts of fossils, and to H. E. Pierrepont, of Brooklyn, L H. Bron- 
son, of Palatka, FK, S. A. Abbey, of Cleveland, O. ; A. Morton, of Monroe , 
Mich. ; D. Merritt of Salem, Mass. ; and J. H. Lord of Oswego, for interest- 
ing communications, and to J. W. Bostwick, of Lowville, for access to the 

land iiapers of the J^w Purchase. 

Mam^^ January 12<A, ISM. 




Ambiguity of relict left of ancient occupation— Traces lew ancient than thoi« 
of the west — The sereral traces described — Bone pits — Metallic relics- 
Aboriginal names — The Iroquois dominion— Negotiations of the Dutch 
English and French — De La Bsrre's incursion and defeat by sickness — Ta^. 
lented speech of Garangula, the Onondaga orator— French work on Six 
Town Point— Post at mouth of Sandy Creek- Carlton Island— Its history 
and description, 9 



Current of immigration— Previous divisions of counties — Division of Oneida 
County and strong local interests — Convention at Denmark — Origin of 
name — Act erecting Jefferson and Lewis Counties — Boundaries changed— 
County Buildings located — Proceedings of Supervisors — Jail limits — Court 
house burnt and rebuilt — Maintenance of prisoners — Poor house built and 
site changed — Poor house system — Health law expenses — Bounties for nox- 
ious animals — Courts — Convivial excesses of first Court — Supervisors meet- 
ings, • 25 




Primitive Indian titles — Oneida treaty — Land Commissioners — MacomVs 
purchase — Penet's title — French purchase — Constable^s sales — Scheme of a 
French Colony occasioned by political troubles — Articles of Association — 
Agency of Tillier — Surveys and incidents connected therewith — Death of 
Pharoux — Letter describing French settlement from the work of Hector St. 
John de Crevecoeur — Agency of Morris — Antwerp company — Sales by Le 
Ray — Bonaparte's purchase— Bolyston^s and Black River tracts — Title of 
the Islands, 38 



List of, with dates of organization — Original names — History of each town in 
alphabetical order — supervisors — Early settlers — Incidents — Religious Socie- 
ties, 4^., of each, 69 



First movement by Steuben — Road opened by Tillier — Oswegatchie road- 
Letters of Judge Ford — Lotteries — Legislative acts — Slate roads — Turn- 
pikes — Plank roads — Rail roads — Telegraphs— Black River canal — Origin 
of SteuQ Navigation— List of steam boats-— Steam boat companies, . . . 307 

6 Contents. 



Statistics of population — Ai^ncultural, manafactaring, and commercial resour* 
ces, from the several censuses — Nativity of citizens — Pensioners — Post routes 
and post offices, 357 



Congressional districts — Members of Congress — Assemblymen — Assembly 
districts — Clerks — Sheriffs — Surrogates — Treasurers — Circuit and county 
judges — Assistant justices — Justices of Sessions — District Attorneys— Cor- 
oners — Loan Commissioners — Votes at elections for governor, 365 



Black River Gazette at Martinsburgh — Papers published at Watertown — at 
Sackets Harbor — at Adams — at Theresa— at Carthage, 372 



Early movements towards founding — Watertown Academy — Black River Insti- 
tute^Name changed to Jefferson County Institute — Union Literary Society 
•—Orleans Academy— Brown ville Female Seminary, 378 



Rdigiout SocietUi — Watertown Presbytery — Black River Association — Me- 
thodist Episcopal Associations — Black River Baptist Association — Free 
Communion Baptist yearly meeting — Black River Association (Universa- 
lis!) — Le Ray Monthly Meeting — Lutherans — Benevcient Societies^ ^c. — Bi- 
ble — Sabbath Union — ^Temperance — Educational — Aid to Greeks — Irish re- 
lief Medical Society — Agricultural Society — Town Agricultural Societies — 
jSiioeiationt for Mutual Benefit — Masons — Odd Fellows — Sons of Temper- 
ance — Good Samaritans — Knights of Jericho^Jeffcrson County Industr al 
Association, 390 



JeffenonXounty Bank— Sackets Harbor Bank — Associated Banks— Individual 
Banks-^Insurance Companies, 415 



General remark* — Amos Benedict, Ethel Bronson, Jacob Brown, Peleg Bur- 
chard, I. B. Crawe, Timothy Dewey, Robert B. Doxtater. Dyer Hunting- 
ton, Orville Hungerford, Perley Keyes, Edmund Kirby, Le Ray de Chaumont, 
Hart MMsey, John Paddock, Hezekiah B. Pierrepont. Augustus Sacket, 
Micah Sterling, Egbert Ten Eyck, George White, Benjamin Wright, 419 

ContenU. 7 



Emban^o-^flDii^flinf — Seizures — Declaration of war — Attack on Saekets 
Har^r — Affiur of Julia — Attack on Gananoqui — Cruise of Chauncey — Tale 
of Tom Garnet— Plans of attack discussed in Cabinet — Dearborn appointed 
commander-in-diief— Descent upon York — Battle of Saekets Harbor — Pri- 
Tateering on the St. Lawrence— Exploits of Gregory, Yanghan and Dixon 
— Wilkinson^s expedition — Battle of Sandy Creek — rfaTal armaments on 
the lake, 458 


STBXTt OF 1887-1840. 

Excitement from bnming of the Caroline — Afiair of Hickory Island — Bumio|^ 
of the Peel — Affiir at Prescott — Sympathy foriprisoners — Release of Minors 
— Attempt to bum the Great Britain — Patriot Bank, 519 



Importance of classification— Primary rock— Potsdam sandstone— Caleiferooi 
sandstone — Birdseye, Black River, and Trenton limestones — Utica slate- 
Lorraine slate — General observations — Black River — Lake Ontario— Min- 
eral localities — Meteorological table, • ....•• 59^ 


Letter of Charlevoix — Petition of Joseph Bonaparte, Count Survilliers — ^Ro- 
mance and poetry of the Thousand Isles — Notes on Pres^terian church in 
Antwerp, Associate reformed church of Ox Bow and &ptist church of 
Henderson — Jason Fairbanks — Report on the petition for a tax for Union 
Literary society — Brigadier General Pike — Correspondence between Gene* 
nl Brown and Governor Tompkins concerning the war of 1812 — Yon 
Schouiu the Patriot leader, 563 

Ivnix, • 593 


• ♦ I 



A passing tribute, to the memory of a race who hare left but few 
traces of their sojourn in the territory now embraced in Jefferson 
county, may not be deemed inappropriate before entering into 
the details that make up ouf authentic history. There are pro- 
bably few who have not dwelt with peculiar interest upon the 
glimpses we catch throu^i^h the mists of the past, of whole tribes 
of men that have vanisned from the earth, leaving no heirs or 
representatives to inherit the richer blessings of our age; of 
nations whose part in the great drama of human life must always 
be the theme of conjecture; whose sages are forgotton, and 
whose warriors sleep unhonored in the dim obscurity of oblivion. 
Few are the monuments we may interrogate, and doubtful the 
interpretation of the enigmas which the scattered traces of their 
existence offer, nor can these furnish the basis of a well-founded 
conjecture of the people, or the period, or in some instances the 
object with which they were related. At most, we can but offer 
a few/actSy and leave the field of conjecture open to those who 
may have more ample means of comparison, and the leisure and 
talent to devote to this deeply interesting field of inquiry. The 
general inference which has been reached by those whose re- 
searches have been especially devoted to this study, is that none 
of the remains of art in this section of the state, can pretend to 
the antiquity that belongs to the mound builders of the Ohio 
valley; that they indicate at most but a slight attainment in 
civilization; that they denote no further object than self defense, 
or simple sustenance; and that they evince no general plans, 
no organized system, beyond what the necessities of the moment 
suggested. Further than this we know nothing. The enclosures 
hereafter described exhibit that similarity that leads us to believe 
them the work of the same race, for a comnlon object — ^pro- 

10 Aboriginal Traces. 

tectioD against a cotemporary foe; thus showing that wars are, 
if not inherent in human nature, at least coeval with the first 
dawnings of civilization. 

In the town of Le Ray, a short distance below the village of 
Black River, and on the road to Watertown, was formerly the 
trace of .a trench enclosure. The w^ork was irregularly semi- 
circular, inclosing about one and a quarter acres of ground, and 
a short distance from the bank of Black River, the side towards 
which was open, the ends of the embankment extending a short 
distance down the slope, and curving inward " as if to prevent 
the flank from being turned by an enemy."* A portion of the 
bank and ditch outside may still be traced in the road, but the 
greater part has long been leveled by cultivation. In the fields 
adjacent, are the traces of hearths, numerous fragments of rude 
pottery, bones of animals, and stone chisels.t Human bones 
have also been found in the vicinity. Although the banks have 
been mostly leveled, yet their localify may be traced without 
much difficulty. 

About a mile north of this, is another and larger one, which, 
like the first, contains in and around it the usual Indian relics. 
It occupies a plain but little elevated above a flat that was once 
flowed by a beaver dam, making a shallow pond several acres 
in extent. The remains of the dam may still be traced on 
West Creek, which has its source not far distant. 

Two trench enclosures formerly existed near Sanford's Cor- 
ners in Le Ray, but no trace of the original works remains. 
"When first seen, the bank, measured from the bottom of the ditch, 
was six feet high. An unusual amount of relics have been 
afibrded by the adjacent fields, and several human skeletons, all 
buried in the sitting posture, have been exhumed. Like most 
others, they were built near the banks of a stream of water, and 
had at irregular intervals, gateways or passages. The ground 
within and around was formerly a pine forest, which extended 
many miles in the direction of Carthage. 

On both sides of Perch Lake and on Linnel's Island in an ad- 
jacent swamp, there were, when the country was first explored, 
a great number of mounds or barrows, supposed by some to be 
burial places. They present much uniformity in appearance, 
being circular, from two to four rods across, from two to four 
feet high, and uniformly having a depression in the centre, as if 
a vault had formerly existed there, which has since fallen in. 
When dug into, they aresaid^to contain burnt stone, charred corn, 

^Aboriginal Monaments of New York, by E. 6. Squier, Smithsoniaii 
Contributions, vol. II, art. vi, p. 23, fig. 3, pi. 3. 

t See Third Annual Report of Regents of the University on the Condition 
of the State Cabinet, p. 101. 

Aboriginal TVaces. 11 

broken earthen, &c.; but no opportunity was afibrded to the 
author to examine their structure. Most of them have been 
plowed down, but a few are said to remain on the west side of the 
Perch Lake in their primitive state. In Houndsfield, on the shore 
of Black River Bay, between Muskellunge Creek and Storrs' 
Harbor, is said to have existed formerly a trench enclosure of 
the ordinary form. We have not learned whether it is wholly or 
in part preserved, nor is its extent known. Some of the largest 
trees of the forest grew upon and within the bank. In Water- 
town, on lot No. 29, about two and a half miles south-west from 
the village, may still be seen in an open wood, and in a fine state 
of preservation, the outline of a work consisting of a bank thrown 
up from a surrounding ditch, and evidently intended as a de- 
fensive work. It is on the summit of a gradually sloping terrace 
of Trenton Limestone, and commands a delightful prospect. 
Elms, three feet in diameter, are found growing upon the bank, 
and the decaying remains of others still larger, within and upon 
it, carry back the date of its construction to an ante-Columbian 
period. In the same range and lot, on premises owned by Anson 
Hungerford, Esq., and about forty rods east, there was formerly 
another enclosure, with gateways, the position and extent of 
which cannot now be ascertained, as the bank has long since 
been leveled by cultivation. The one first mentioned, is semi- 
circular, the open side facing upon the bank.* Half a mile east 
of Burrville, on lot No. 31, was form'erly a defensive work, con- 
sisting of a mound and ditch, running^ across a point between two 
streams near their junction, and forming by the aid of the natural 
banks a triangular enclosure. The plow has long ago filled the 
ditch and leveled the bank; leaving no trace of the work. The 
soil has afforded a great abundance and variety of relics, and the 
vicinity indicates that it had been occupied as an Indian village. 
Within the enclosure is a boulder of gneiss, worn smooth and 
concave in places by the grinding of stone implements. On a 
point of land opposite, the author found an iron ball weighing eight 
ounces, and others have been picked up in the vicinity, indicating 
that the place must have been passed, at least, by those who 
knew the use of small ordnance, probably the French, on some 
of their expeditions against the Iroquois.! Mr. Squier, in his 
work on the ancient monuments of New York, mentions the trace 
of an Indian village a mile north-east of this. 

Near Appling post office, on the land of D. Talcott, in Adams, 
near the line of Watertown, is still to be seen the trace of a 

^Smithtonian Contribations to Knowledge, vol. II, art. vi, p. 20, fig. 2, pi. 2. 
See also N. Y. Senate Document No. 30, 1851, p. 105, plate 7. These plates 
are from independent surveys but are very similar. 
tSenate Doe. 1851, No. 30, p. 107. Smithsonian Contrib. II, part vi, p. 91 . 

13 Aboriginal Tracer. 

work of great extent and interest. It is on the brow of the upper 
terrace of Trenton limestone, overlooking a vast extent of coun- 
try to the west and north. The bank has an average height 
of three and base of ten feet, with an external ditch of corre- 
sponding dimensions, and there were about seven gateways or 
interruptions in the work, which had an elliptical form, one side 
bordering upon a beaver pond, and bounded by an abrupt bank, 
about thirty feet high. Upon and within the work, trees of an 
enormous size are growing, and the decaying fragments of others 
carry back the origin of the work several hundred years. A great 
number of small pits or caches, occur where provisions were 
stored for concealment; as shown by quantities of parched corn. 
Several skeletons have been exhumed here, which had been 
buried in a sitting posture, and its relics are the same as those 
above mentioned. 

Near the north-west corner of Rodman, on lot number two, on 
the farm of Jared Freeman, was formerly an interesting work, 
of which no trace remains,^ except a boulder of gneiss, worn 
smoth by grinding. Before the place liad been cultivated, it is 
said to have shown an oval double bank, with an intervening 
crescent-shaped space, and a short bank running down a gentle 
slope to a small stream, one of the sources of Stony Creek, that 
flows near. Several hundred bushels of burnt corn were turned 
out, over an area one rod by eight, showing that this must have 
been an immense magazine of food. On the farm of Jacob 
Heath, on lot No. 25, near the west line of Rodman, and on the 
north bank of North Sandy Creek, a short distance above the 
confluence of the two main branches of that stream, there formerly 
existed an enclosure of the same class. It included about three 
acres, was overgrown with heavy timber, and furnished within 
and without, when plowed, a great quantity and variety of terra 
cotta, ii> fragments, but no metallic relics. Under the roots of a 
large maple was dug up the lx)nes of a man of great stature, 
and furnished with entire rows of double teeth. 

On the farm of Wells Benton, half a mile from Adams Village, 
was an enclosure similar to the others, and aflbrding the usual 
variety of relics; and another trace of an ancient work of a si- 
milar character is mentioned in Adams, two miles north of the 
village. On the farm of Peter Durfey, near Bellville, in Ellis- 
burgh, is still another, which, from the description given by those 
who have examined it, does not difler in age or general appear- 
ance from others, having gateways at irregular intervals, and 
being guarded on one side by a natural defense. 

The present cemetry, a little above Ellis Village, presents the 
trace of a work that was crescent-shaped, and, by the aid of the 

* Senate Do:un eat, 1851, No. 30, p. 105, where a plan is given. 

Aboriginal Traces. 13 

natural bank on which it was built, formed an irregular enclosure 
of about two acres. On the south bank of South Sandy Creek, 
three miles from its mouth, was a similar work, defended on one 
side by an abrupt bank, and now entirely leveled by tillage. A 
considerable number of places occur in fillisburgh, which must 
hare been inhabited by the aborigines. The fertility of the soil, 
excellence of water, and vicinity to valuable salmon 6sheries, 
and extensive hunting grounds, must have afforded many attrac- 
tions to the savages. Probably several traces of ancient works 
in this section of the country may have been leveled by tillage, 
without exciting suspicion of their nature. Besides these, one 
is mentioned as haying occurred near Tylerville, and another in 
Houndafield, two miles from Brownville. 

One of the most conclusive evidences of ancient military 
occupation and conflict, occurs in Rutland, near the residence 
of Abner Tamblin, one mile from the western line of the town, 
and two miles from the river. It is on the supnmit of the Trenton 
limestone terrace, which forms a bold escarpment, extending down 
the river, and passing across the southern part of Watertown. 
There here occurs a slight embankment, and ditch irregularly oval, 
with several gateways; and along the ditch, in several places, 
have been found great numbers of skeletons, almost entirely of 
males, and lying in great confusion, as if they had been slain in 
defending it Among these bones were those of a man of co- 
lossal size, and like nine4enths of the otherSy furnished with a 
TOW of double teeth in each jaw. This singular peculiarity, 
with that of broad flat jaws, retreating forehead, and great 
prominence of the occiput, which was common to most of these 
skulls, may hereafter afford some clue to their history. There is 
said to have been found at this place by excavating, hearths, or 
fire places, with bones of animals, broken pottery, and imple- 
ments of stone, at two different levels j separated by an accumu- 
lation of earth and vegetable mould from one to two feet thick, 
as if the place had been twice occupied. So great has been the 
length of time since these bones have been covered, that they 
fall to pieces very soon after being exposed to the air. Charred 
com, bones, and relics, occur at both levels, but more abund- 
antly at the lower. At numerous places, not exhibiting traces 
of fortification, are found fire places, accumulations -of chips, of 
flint, and broken pottery; as if these points had been occupied 
as dwellings. In several places bone pits have been found, where 
human remains in great numbers have been accumulated. One 
is mentioned as occurring near Brownville Village,* where in a 
space of ten or twelve#feet square and fiour deep, a great number 
of skeletons were thrown. Another deposit of bones occurs in 

* Smithionian ContributioDf, II, part ▼!, p 25. 

14 Traces of Indian Occupation. 

Ellisburghy nearly opposite an ancient work, on South Sandy 
Creek, near a house now occupied by J. W. Ellis; where, in dig- 
ging a cellar in 18 18, bones in great numbers were found. In 1842, 
Uiere was found in Rutland, three miles from Watertown, under a 

Sile of stones, about three feet high, which rested on a circular 
at stone, a pit four feet square and two deep, filled with the bones 
of men and animals, thrown together in great confusion.* These 
exhibit marks of teeth as if they had been gnawed by animals. 
This, with the charcoal and charred corn in the vicinity, has been 
thought to indicate ancient massacre and pillage, in which an 
Indian village was destroyed and the bones of the slain afterwards 
collected arid buried by friends. ,It was estimated that thirty or 
forty skeletons were buried here, besides parts of animals, that 
may have been killed for food. A custom is said to have pre- 
vailed among some Indian tribes, of collecting and burying at 
stated intervals, the bones of their dead, and some of these de- 
positories may have thus originated. The earthen, found around 
these localities, was of the coarsest and rudest character; exter- 
nally smooth, except where marked by lines and dots, in fantastic 
and ever-varying combinations of figures, and intcfrnally rough 
from the admixture of course sand and gravel. There was no 
glazing known to these primitive potters, who possessed never- 
theless, a certain degree of taste and skill; and sometimes 
attempted on their pipes and jars, an imitation of the human 
face and fantastic images of serpents and wild animals. Rarely, 
metallic relics of undoubted antiquity are iound. A chisel of 
copper before us, is of this class; and the metal from which this, 
and other relics of this kind were made, was doubtless procured 
from Lake Superior. A fragment of a sword blade, around which 
the wood of a tree had grown, was found by the first settlers of 
Ellisburgh. Muskets, balls, hatchets, knives and other imple- 
ments of metal, have been at various times turned out by the 
plow; but none of the articles of undoubted European origin 
can claim an antiquity prior to the French and Indian wars. 

There was found several years since in the sand, at a deep 
cuttine of the rail road, near the Poor House, an oval ball, about 
three inches long, which for some time was used by children as 
a plaything. From its lightness and hardness, it excited curiosity, 
and it was cut open when it was found to contain astrip of parch- 
ment and another ball; this latter also contained another ball and 
strip of parchment, in all three. One of these is preserved, and 
is I by 11| inches, containing, written on one side, four lines of 
Hebrew characters, without vowel points, quoted from Deutero- 
nomy xi, 13 to 21 inclusive. The case containing these was 
apparently made of hide, and it had been doubtless used as an 

• Tkdrd Rtport of Ref enU on Cabinet, 1850, p. 102. 

French Expeditions. 15 

amulet, by some trayeling Jew, or had been procured by the 
Indians as a charm, at a period not prior to the French era of 
our history. This section of the state, at the earliest period of 
authentic history, was occupied by the Oneidas and Onondagas, 
as a hunting ground; and one or two trails were perceptible 
when surveyed in 1796. Occasionally the St. Regis Indians 
would find their way into our territory, but oftener the Massa- 
saugas from the north shore of the lake. The Oneidas considered 
them as intruders and the latter seldom allowed themselves to fall 
in their way, from which reason the visits of the natives were 
stealthy and unfrequent, and nothing would fill the foreign Indians 
with apprehensions sooner than being told that the Oneidas were 
in the neighborhood. After the war nothing was seen or heard 
from them. Of our aboriginal names of places in our country 
but few are preserved. Mr. L. H. Morgan has given on a map, 
accompanying his work, entitled, The League of the IroquoiSf 
the following, as they "are known in the Seneca dialect: 

Lake Ontario^ Neahga. Tecameodi. 

Sandy Creeky Tekadaogahe. 

Black Rivery Kahuahgo. 

Sackets HarboTy Gahuagojetwaraalote. 

Wolfblandy Deawokedacanauda. 

St. Lawrencey Ganowogeh. Gahunda. 

Indian Rivery Ojequack. 

On an ancient French map in Yale College library, Carlton 
Island is designated Cahihotiouage, A town at the mouth of Black 
River, Otihantigue. The St. Regis Indians name Black River 
Jfikahionhakown or big river. In Mr. Squier's work, on the 
antiquities of the state, it is called Kamargo; French Creek is 
by the St. Regis called Atenharakwehtarey the place where the 
fence or wall fell down. The Ox Bow of Oswegatchie river they 
name OTumtohen, a hill with the same river both sides. 

Although our territory was not actually inhabited at the time 
it first became known to Europeans, it is not without incident 
connected with the wars between the French in Canada, and the 
Iroquois of New York, who from an early period had been under 
the influence of the English. Within a very few years from the 
time of first occupation, the French had penetrated far into the 
interior, explored the great lakes, discovered the Mississippi near 
its source, and established small ports for the double purpose of 
securing the fur trade, and converting to their reli&ion the na- 
tives. The Dutch had conciliated the Iroquois, and their influ- 
ence had been transferred to the English, who succeeded them, 
which led to a hostile incursion by De Courcelles and De Tracy 
against the Mohawks in 1665-6, resulting in nothing but the 
murder of a few aged warriors, who preferred death to the aban- 

16 English JeaUnmes. — Negotiation. 

donment of their homes, and in exciting to a greater degree of 
insolence the Indians, ^ho sometime alter, fell upon a party of 
French hunters, killed several, and carried others away prisoners. 
Peace was subsequently gained, during which the French got the 
permission of the natives to erect a fort at Cataroqui (Kingston), 
ostensibly to protect the traders and their merchandise. The 
Jesuits, meanwhile, availing themselves of the peace, penetrated 
the settlements of the Five Nations, and acquired to some degree 
an influence with the Onondagas. The Senecas and Cayugas 
were ^till jealous of the French, and continued to annoy their 
trade, which led to a complaint* from De la Barre, governor of 
Canada, to Governor Dongan of New York, that these savages 
bad plundered seven canoes, and detained fourteen French traders; 
to which the principal Seneca sachem returned a spirited reply, 
^nd Dongan requested the French to keep their own side of the 
lake.t This provoked an insolent letter from the French gov- 
ernor, in which he said: ^^I sent Sieur Bourbon to you to advise 
you of the vengeance I was about to wreak for the insult inflicted 
on the Christian name by the Senecas and Cayugas, and you 
answer me about pretensions to the possessions of lands of which 
neither you nor I are judges, but our two kings who have sent 
us, and of which there is no question at present, having no thought 
of conquering countries, but of making the Christian name and 
the French people to be respected, and in which I will spill the 
last drop of my blood. I have great esteem for your person, and 
cpnsiderable desire to preserve the honor of his Britannic Ma- 
jesty's good graces, as well as those of my Lord the Duke of 
York; and I even believe that they will greatly appreciate my 
chastisement of those who insult you and capture you every day, 
as they have done this winter in Merilande. But if I was so 
u^fortunate as that you desired to protect robbers, assassins and 
traitors, I could not distinguish their protectors from themselves. 
I pray you then to attach faith to the credit which I give S. de 
Calv9ge, to explain every thing to you; and if the Senecas and 
Cayugas wish your services as their intercessor, to take security 
£rom them, not in the Indian but in the European fashion, with- 
out whiph, and the honor of hearing from you, I shall attack 
them towards the 20th of the month of August, New Style."| 
A plan of operations had been previously arranged under the 
direction of the home government, and a negotiation with the 
governor of New York could have no other object than to amuse 
and keep inactive the English forces by professions of amity, and 
a declaration that they were only at war with traitors and rob- 
bers, common enemies of mankind. Preliminaries being settled,§ 

♦Doc. HUt. N. Y. Vol. I, p. 99. fib. p. 200. 
tLondon Doc. V. poc. Hut. N. Y., I, p. 110. 

De La Barrels Expedition. 17 

De la Barre, in June, 1684, sent five or six picked soldiers, and 
as many mechanics to Fort Frontenac, to repair that post, and 
on the 9th of July leA Quebec, in three divisions, at the head of 
300 militia, vhich was increased to 550 at Montreal. The 
regulars and Indian allies made the entire army about 2000 men, a 
very powerful army for the time. From the difficulty of procuring 
boats and provisions, the obstruction of the rapids, and the preva- 
lence of south-west winds, the army was delayed till past the 
middle of August in arriving at Frontenac. Meanwhile, through 
the influence of Laoikberville, a Jesuit at Onondaga, that village 
had become anxious that the difficulties might be settled by 
mediation, a course to which De la Barre was the more inclined 
from the shortness of provisions with which he was threatened 
He had crossed with his army to La Famine,* a point favorable^ 
for hunting and fishing, 24 leagues from Onondaga, to await 
the result of negotiation. Here, exposed to the sultry heats of 
August, and scantily supplied with provisions, most of his men 
were attacked with intermittent fevers, which assumed a malig- 
nant type, and destroyed numbers, while it incapacitated the 
remainder from hostile operations. Being thus situated, he hastily 
despatched a Christian savage to La Moine, at Onondaga, to 
have him hasten the departiu*e of those whom the Iroquois had 
agreed to send to treat with the French governor. This was 
done with promptness, and on the third of September, nine 
deputies from Onondaga, three from Oneida and two from Cayuga, 
arrived from La Moine, and were courteously received by the 
governor, who deferred the business of the embassy till the mor- 
row. The Senecas, against whom especially the vengeance of 
the French was to have been directed, did not condescend to 
send representatives to the treaty, and returned an insolent 
answer to the invitation. They had been privately assured of 
assistance from Dongan, the English governor, in case they were 
attacked. The inclination for peace which the Onondagas, 
Oneidas and Cayugas evinced, may be ascribed to the ascend- 
ency which thb Jesuits residing among them had acquired. 
Colden, the historian of the Five Nations, gives the following 
version of the speeches that were delivered on the occasion. De 

*Tbe precise locality of La Famine admiti of a little doubt. Colden saya 
{Fivt Nations^ I, p. 64), ^*La Famine, by tbe Indians called Kaihohage, falls 
into the south side of the Cadarackui Lake, about 30 miles from Onondafa. 
Hungry Bay^ which may be a translation of the word, is on some old mapa 
represented as Chaumont Bay, on others Hendf^rson Bay, and on others, all 
within Point Peninsula and Stony Island. De Meneles, the commissary of the 
expedition, in a letter to the minister (ParU Doc.^ II), says that the camp 
at La Famine was made ^^ in places never inhabited, entirely surrounded 
by swamps.'^ These render it probable that the locality was in Henderson or 
Ellisbnrgn, more probably in the latter town, which has extensive marshes 
near the lake, on both branches of Big Sandy Creek 

18 Speech of De la Barre. 


la Barre was seated in an arm chair, the French officers making 
a semicircle on one side, while Garangula, the orator of the 
Onondagas, with the warriors that attended him, completed the 
circle on the other. The arrangements being made, the French 
governor spoke as follows: 

** The king, my master, being informed that the Five Nations have of- 
ten infringed the peace, has ordered me to come hither, with a guard, 
and to send Oliguesse to the Onondagas to bring the chief Sachem to 
my camp. The intention of the great kin^ is, that you and I may smoke 
the calumet of peace together, but on this condition, that you promise 
me in the name of the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Mohawks to 
give entire satisfaction and reparation to his subjects, and for the future 
never to molest them. The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and 
Mohawks have robbed and abused all the traders that were passing to 
the Illinois and Umamies, and other Indian nations, the children of my 
king. They have acted on these occasions contrary to the treaty of 
peace with my predecessor. I am ordered, t|ierefore, to demand satis- 
faction, and to tell them that in case of refusal, or their plundering us 
any more, that I have express orders to declare war. This belt confirms 
my words. The warriors of the Five Nations have conducted the English 
into the lakes, which belong to the king, my master, and brought the 
English among the nations that are his children, to destroy the trade of 
his subjects, and to withdraw these nations from him. They have car- 
ried the English thither, notwithstanding the prohibition of the late Gov- 
ernor of New York, who foresaw the risk that both they and you would 
run. I am willing to forget these things, but if ever the like shall hap- 
pen for the future, I have express orders to declare war against you. 
This belt confirms my words. 

Your warriors have made several barbarous incursions on the Illinois 
and Umamies ; they have massacred men, women and children, and have 
made many of these nations prisoners, who thought themselves safe in 
their villages, in time of peace. These people, who are my king's 
children, must not be your slaves; you must give them their liberty, and 
send them back into their own country. If the Five Nations shall refuse 
to do this, I have express orders to declare war against them. This belt 
confirms my words. 

This is what I have to say to Garangula, that he may carry to the 
Senecas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas and Mohawks the declaration 
which the king, my master, has commanded me to make. He doth not 
wish them to rorce him to send a great army to Cataraqui fort to begin 
a war which must be fatal to them. He would be s^rry that this fort, 
which was the work of peace, should become the prison of your war- 
riors. We must endeavor, on both sides, to preveut such misfortunes. 
The French, who are the brethren and friends of the Five Nations, will 
never trouble their refiose, provided that the satis&ction which I demand 
be given, and the treaties of peace be hereafter observed. 1 shall be ex- 
tremely grieved if my words do not produce the effect which I expect 
from them, for then I shall be obliged to join with the Governor of New 
York, who is commanded by his master to assist me, and burn the cas- 
tles of the Five Nations and destroy you. This beh confirms my words.** 

During this harangue, Garangula kept his eyes fixed on the 
end of his pipe, and as soon as the Governor ended, he arose, 
and, having walked several times around the circle, returned to 
his place, where he spoke standmg, while De la Barre remained 

Speech of GaranguUu 19 

<* Yonnondki, I honor you, and the warriors that are with me honor 
rou. Your interpreter haa finished your speech. I now hegio mine. 
My words make baste to reach your ears; hearken to them, Yunnondio. 
You must have believed, when you left Quebec, that the sun had burnt 
up all the forests which render our country inaccessible to the French, 
or that the lakes had so overflown theur banks that they had surrounded 
our castles, and that it was impossible for us to get out of them ; yes, 
truly, you must have dreamed so, and the curiosity of seeing so great a 
wonder has brought you so far. Now you are undeceived, since that I, 
and Uje warriors here present, are come to assure you, that the Cayugas, 
Senecaa, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mohawks are yet alive. I thank you, 
in their name, for bringing back into their country the calumet, yrbich 
your predecessors received from their hands. It was happy for you that 
you left under ground that murdering hatchet that has so often been 
dyed with the blood of the French. Hear! Yonnondio; I do not sleep! 
I have my eyes open, and the sun which enlightens me, discovers to me 
a great captain, at the head of a company of soldiers, who speaks as if 
he were dreaming. He says that he only came to the lakes to smoke on 
the great calumet, with the Onondagas. But Garangula says he sees to 
the contrary ; that it was to knock them on the head, if sickness had not 
weakened the arms of the French. I see Yonnondio raving in a camp 
of sick men, whose lives the great spirit has saved, by inflicting this 
sickness upon them. Hear, Yonnondio! our women had taken their 
clubs ; our children and old men had carried their bows and arrows into 
the heart of your camps, if our warriors had not disarmed them, and 
kept them back, when your messengers came to our castles. It is done ; 
I have said it. Hear, Yonnondio! we plundered none of the French, 
but those that carried guns, powder, and balls, to the Twightwies, and 
Chictagicks, because those arms might have cost us our lives. Herein 
we follow the example of the Jesuits, who break all the kegs of rum 
brought to our castles, lest the drunken Indians should knock them on 
the head. Our warriors have not beavers enough to pay for all those 
arms that they have taken, and our old men are not afraid of the war. 
This belt preserves my words. We carried the English into our lakes, 
to trade with the Utawawas, and Quatoghies, as the Adriondacks brought 
the French to our castles, to carry on a trade which the English say is 
theirs. We are born free ; we neither depend on Yonnondio, or Corlear ; 
we may go where we please, and carry with us what we please, and buy 
and sell what we please. If your allies be your slaves, use them as such ; 
command them to receive no others but your people. This belt pre* 
serves my words. We knock the Twightwies and Chictagicks on the 
head, because they had cut down the trees of peace, which were the 
limits of our country. They have hunted beaver on our lands; they 
have acted contrary to the customs of the Indians, for they have left 
none of the beavers alive; the^ killed both male and female; they 
brought the Satanas into their country, to take ])art with them after they 
had concerted ilF designs against us. We have done less than either the 
English or French, that have usurped the lands of so many Indian na- 
tions, and chased them from their own country. This belt preserves my 
words. Hear, Yonnondio, what I say is the voice of all the Five Nations. 
Hear what they answer: open your ears to what they speak. The Seu- 
ecas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Oneidas and Mohawks say, that when they 
buried the hatchet at Cadaraqui, in the presence of your predecessors, 
in the middle of the fort, they planted the tree of peace in the same 
place, to be there carefully preserved; that in the place of arms and am- 
munition of war, beavers and merchandise should only enter there. 

^ Dela Barre Returns to Quebec. 

Hear, Yonnondio! take care, for the future, that so great a number of 
soldiers as appear there, do not choke the tree of peace, planted in so 
small a fort. It will be a great loss, if, after it had so easily taken root, 
you should stop its growth, and prevent its covering your country and 
ours with its branches. I assure you, in the name of the Five Nations, 
that our warriors bhall dance to the calumet of peace under its leaves, 
and phall remain quiet on their mats, and shall never dig up the hatchet 
till their brother Yonnondio, or Corlear shall either jointly or separately, 
endeavor to attack the country which the Great Spirit has given to our 
ancestors. This belt preserves my words, and this other the authority 
which the Five Nations have given me." Then addressing himself to the 
interpreter he said : ** Take courage, you have spirit, speak, explain my 
words, forget nothing, tell all that your brethren and friends say to Yon- 
nondio, your Governor, by the mouth of Garangula, who loves you and 
desires you to accept this present of beaver, and take part with me in 
my feast, to which I invite you. — This present of beaver is sent to Yon- 
nondio on the part of the Five Nations." 

Pe la Barre, stun^ with the sarcasm of this speech, of which 
he could not but admit the truths hastily returned on the 6th, 
having had all the sick embarked the day before (so as not to be 
seen by the Indians), to the number 150 canoes and 12 flat 
bateaux, and on the evening of the same day arrived at Fort 
Frontenac, where he found that 110 of the number left there 
had departed, sick, for Montreal, whither the Governor followed 
the next day. At La Chine he found 45,000 lbs. of flour* which 
he had so much needed at La Famine. 

The marquis De Nonville succeeded De la Barre the next year; 
and brought from France forces thought sufficient for the reductfon 
of the Senecas, which was undertaken two years after, with a 
great force,* but without success, further than ravaging their 
country with fire, and destroying a few aged and defenseless men 
and women. On the 26th of July, 1688, the Iroquois, to the 
number of 1200, invaded the island of Montreal, without notice, 
and destroyed more than a thousand French, besides carrying 
away great numbers of prisoners for torture. In these and other 
expeditions, our territory must have been the scene of many 
events of tragic interest, but the history of the details has not 
come down to us. 

During the French and English war, which in 1760 resulted 
in the complete subjection of the former, our frontier again be- 
came alive with military operations, and the principal route 
between Canada, and the Mohawk settlements, passed through 
thb county. On a peninsula, called Six Town Point, a few miles 
from Sackets Harbor^ is the trace of a slight work, in a square 
form with bastions at each angle and apparently a small stockade, 
erected during this period. Between the bastions the sides were 
but 48 feet, and the whole affair was of a slight and transient 
character. The only trace left is a slight ditch along the sides, 

♦Doc. Hist, of N. Y., i, p. 193. Clarke's Hist, of Onondaga, 1, p. 267, ^c. 

Tracer of French Occupation. 21 

apparently formed by the decay of the wood that formed the 
deleDse. On one side is a row of mounds, five in number, pro- 
bably for the mounting of cannon. The locality is about 1^ mile 
from the end of the point on the inside, and but a few yards from 
the water's edge. The place is partly covered by a thin growth 
of hickory and oak, and the quiet scenery of the spot is delightful. 
In a work entitled, Memoires sur le Canada^ there is men- 
tioned the occupation of a post at the mouth of Sandy Creek, 
of which no trace remains. 

** Meanwhile M. de Vaudreuil, not coDtent with faaviug destroyed the 
munitioDS of the enemy, and discoiiGerting their projects upon the lalce 
and their upper posts, resolved to capture Chouagien,* to the end that 
the colony might be tranquilized on this side, and himself left easy on the 
defensive, until succors might arrive from France. He sent f in 'this 
direction, a detachment of 800 men, to hold the enemy in check, and 
watch their movements, under the command of Sieur de Villiers, captain 
of the Marine, brother of M. de Fumonville. This officer was brave and 
prudent, capable of executing the most perilous enterprise, and had 
always given proof of courage. This officer took post near n river, 
named Aux Sab]e84 where he built a little fort of upright stakes, on a 
point where this river falls into lake Ontario. The approach was difficult, 
and concealed from view by bushes, which surrounded it, so that one 
could see but a short distance when on foot. He oAen appeared before 
the enemy, pillaged their munitions, and compelled them to take the 
greatest precaution in sending to Chonoguen their provisions and troops.** 

The most interesting relics of the olden time within the county, 
are the ruins of Fort Carlton, on Carlton or Buck's Island, called 
by the French Isle aux Chevreuils, about three miles from Cape 
Vincent and in the middle of the south channel of the St. Law- 
rence. The island, when first observed by our settlers, was partly 
cleared; it has an undulating surface, is composed of Trenton 
limestone, and is very fertile. The surface near its head, where- 
the fort is situated, rises by an easy grade to a spacious plain, 
fifty feet above the river, which was precipitous in front, and over- 
looked a small peninsula, but little elevated above the water, and 
affording on each side of the isthmus safe and ample coves for 
the anchorage of boats. On a point of this land, the government 
is about to construct a lighthouse. The area under the hill was 
completely protected by the works on the heights above, and from 
its great fertility afforded an abundance of culinary vegetables 
for the garrison. Traces occur, showing that cannon were planted 
on conspicuous points, and the trace of a submerged wharf is still 
seen, as are also wrecks of vessels in the bottom of the river 
adjacent In the rear of the works may be seen the cemetery, 
but time has defaced the inscriptions upon the headstones, except 

♦ Oswego. 

t In the month of March or April, 1756. 

t About six leagaes south-west from the place now called Sackett^s Harbor. 

Noti in original. 

23 Ruins of Fort Carbon. 

to one grave, which has the following: "/. Farrar^ D. 23, F*', 
1792/* Forty years ago, carved oaken planks were standing at 
many of the graves. Several chimneys occur outside of the in- 
trenchment, and on the peninsula, in front of the fort. About a 
dozen still stand within the works, which are built of stone, in a 
permanent and massive manner, the flues being very small, and 
the bases enlarged and well founded. Near the brow of the hill, 
is a circular well about ten feet in diameter, and supposed to be 
at least as deep as the level of the river, but being partly filled 
with mbbish, this could not be determined. Here are also exca- 
vations, supposed to be for magazines. The plan of the fort 
$hows it to have been after the system of Vauban, and formed 
three eighths of a circle of about 800 feet diameter; the abrupt 
face of the hill, which was doubtless protected by a stockade, not 
requiring those defenses, which were' furnished to the rear. The 
ditch is excavated in rock, is 4 feet deep, and 22 wide. The covered 
way is 24 feet wide, the counterscarp vertical, the outer parapet 
4 feet high, and the glacis formed of materials taken from the 
ditch. The rampart within the ditch was of earth, and is very 
much dilapidated. Ravelins were made before each reentrant 
xangle, and at the alternate salient angles, bastions were so placed 
as to command the fort and its various approaches, very effect- 
ually. No knowledge is derived from settlers of the character, 
the work, or the number or size of the inclosedbuildings, except 
that a range of wooden blockhouses within the intrenchment, 
was occupied by a corporal's guard, and a few invalids. The 
premises had fallen into decay and were entirely without defensive 
works; a few iron cannon were laying on the beach, or under 
water near the shore, and the gates had been robbed of their 
hinges for the iron, which had been pawned by the soldiers. The 
premises have at all times furnished a great abundance of relics, 
among which were coins, buttons, &c., whose inscriptions and 
devices, without exception, indicate an English origin, and a 
period not earlier than the French war. The figures 60, K. 8. 
V, IX, 34, 22, 29, 84, 21, 31, &c., which occur on the buttons 
found, often accompanied by the device of the thistle, anchor, 
crown, &C., doubtless designated the regiments to which their 
wearers belonged. 

On the declaration of war, the guard was surprised and captured 
without resistance, the buildings burned, and never after used as a 
fort. The state reserved the island for its supposed importance 
in a. military point of view, in their sale to Macomb. In 1796, 
the surveyors of this purchase found a corporal and three men 
in charge, and there were four long twelve, and two six-pound 
cannon mounted. But little is said by historians and travelers, 
of this place, as it appears never to have been the theatre of 

History of Fart Carbm. 23 

eyents that give interest to the former^ and was not in the chan- 
nel commonly taken by regular vessels, and therefore seldom 
visited by the latter. The Duke de la Rochefoucault Liancourt* 
mentions it as follows: ^^During the American war, the British 
troops were constantly in motion, and in later times they were 
quartered in an island which the French called Isle au ChevreauXf 
and which the English have named Carlton, after Lord Dor- 
chester." The island had been known to the French by this 
name from an early period, and it is mentioned as one of the 
stopping places of Count Frontenac in his expedition against 
the Onondagas, as follows:! ''On the 26th [July, 1696], they 
took their departure, and encamped at Deer Island {Isle aux 
Chevreuils); the scouts marching continually ahead of the army. 
Sieur de Luth, captain, was left in the fort [Frontenac], as com- 
mandant, with a garrison of forty men, and masons and carpenters 
necessary for the buildings which he was recommended to hasten. 
There remained only twenty-six sick in the fort, most of whom 
were wounded in the legs ascending the rapids. On the 27th 
they TOt to within three leagues of Riviere de la Famine [Black 
Rive^, and on the 28th to the mouth of that of Onnontague. 

This station was used by the English during and after the 
revolution, and garrisoned by invalid troops. It was an import- 
ant post, as it commanded the navigation of the south channel of 
the St. Lawrence, while Kingston controlled the other. Although 
the French had ceased to command in Canada, yet their memory 
was cherished with affection by the savages, who continued to 
receive presents and be influenced by the French in Louisiana 
and their western posts. Policy, therefore, dictated that this 
place should be kept up against any time of danger that might 
arise. Having carefully examined every author within reach, 
both English and French, we have been unable to ascertain the 
precise time of. erection of this fort. It certainly did not exist 
before 1758, as it does not occur in any of the lists of stations 

Previous to that period, but a manuscript is preserved among the 
aris Documents! in the archives of the state at Albany, that 
throws some light upon the subject if it does not solve the mys- 
tery entirely. From this, it appears, that in November, 1768, the 
Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor of Canada, had drawn up a 
paper on the defenses of that country, which was then at war « 
with the English, that was submitted to the Marquis de Mont- 
calm for his revision, and met with his entire approval. He 
proposed to send 1500 men to defend the approaches of Canada 
on the side of Lake Ontario, by the erection of a post to be selected 

*TnLweU through the United States and the Country of the Iroquoii, in 
1795-«-7, London, vol. I, p. 280. 
t Doc. HUt. N. Y., vol. I, p. 329. t Vol. XV, p. 170. 

24 History of Fort Carlton 

at the head of the St. Lawrence, and laid out after the plans of 
M. de Fontleroy, who was to be sent for that purpose. The 
station thus chosen and fortified would at the same time become 
the head of the frontier, and entrepot for every military 
operation in that quarter, instead of Frontenac, or the Bay of 
Niohoure, which can never be regarded as such, as the English 
might enter the St. Lawrence without exposing themselves, or 
giving any knowledge of their passage. He proposed to build 
xebecs instead of barks, as better fitted for the navigation of the 
lake, and the transportation of supplies. The place was to be 
made susceptible of defense by an army, and to have magazines ' 
for stores and barracks for the lodgement of troops in the winter. A 
quantity of supplies was to be sent to la Presentation,* consisting 
of tools and implements of all kinds necessary to be used against 
Oswego, or in the erection of the works. Levasseur and Pellegrin, 
experienced shipwrights, were to be sent up from Quebec to advise 
upon all the details connected with the plan of establishing upon 
the lake an adequate system of defense. Canada presented at 
that time three frontiers; the St Lawrence from the Atlantic, 
Lake Champlain and the West; each of which claimed a share of 
attention. It was intended that the proposed work should be 
adequate, with those lower down, for the defense of the latter, 
and it was designed to put in command an aaive, disinterested 
and capable man, to accelerate the work, and render the opera- 
tions complete. Such a man the Chevalier de Levy was con- 
sidered to be, and he was accordingly named as the person to 
have chief direction and command of the work. Such are the 
outlines of the plan, which the m^ans within our reach have not 
enabled us to learn were carried out at that time, and to the ex- 
tent contemplated. No one can stand upon the spot occupied by 
this ruin, and survey its natural advantages for defense, the 
ample bays for shipping which it overlooks, and the complete 
command of the channel which it afifords, without being convinced 
that the site was admirably chosen, and that in the selection the 
projectors were guided by much discretion. With these brief 
remarks we shall pass to the subjects connected with Jefferson 
county during tlie period of its present settlement. 




The current of immigration and settlement having been di- 
rected into the Black River valley, about the close of the last 
century, the country filled up in the space of a few years with a 
rapidity that has been seldom equaled, and it soon became diffi- 
cult to^meet the demands of justice, without the erection of new 
counties. The changes which had been previously made, so far 
as relates to our territory, were as follows : 

JUhanyj formed Nov. 1, 1683 (an original county). 

Tryon, " March 12, 1772, from Albany. 

Montgomery y changed April 2, 1784, from Tryon. 

Herkimer^ formed February 16, 1791, from Montgomery. 

Oneiday " March 15, 1798, from Herkimer. 

Such had been the rapidity of settlement within five or six 
years from its opening, that the necessity of a division of Oneida 
became apparent, and local interests began to operate to secure 
the advantages expected from the location of the public build- 
ings. Each section had its advocates. Nathan Sage in Red- 
field, Walter Martin in Martinsburg, Silas Stow and others in 
Lowville, Moss, Kent,.Noadiah Hubbard and others in Cham- 
pion, Henry Cofieen in Watertown, and Jacob Brown in Brown- 
ville, were each intent upon the project of a county seat. Many 
were for having but one new county, in which case Champion 
had the fairest prospects of success, and indeed such had been 
the chances, hi the opinion of several prominent citizens, that 
they had located there. Among these were Moss Kent, a 
brother of Judge James Kent, Egbert Ten Eyck*, &c. To ob- 
tain an expression of public opinion on this subject, three dele- 
gates, chosen at town meetings, from each town interested in the 
Question, met at the house of Freedom Wright, in^Harrisburgh, 
Denmark), November 20th, 1804. Many went with the inten- 
tion of voting for one new county only, but strong local interests 
led to the attendance of those who so influenced the voice of the 
delegation that, with but one exception, they decided for tioo 
new counties, and the convent iqn united upon recommending 
the names of the executive officers of the state and federal 
governments then in office, from whence came the names of 
Jefferson and Lewis, from Thomas Jefferson and Morgan Levns^ 
both men of national celebrity. 

Application was accordingly made to the legislature, and on 
th« 4th of March 1806, Mr. Wright, in the assembly, from th« 


26 Act Erecting Jefferson and Lewis Counties. 

committee to whom was referred the petitions and remonstrances 
from the inhabitants of the county of Oneida, relative to a divi- 
sion thereof, reported, ^Uhat they had examined the facts stated, 
as to population and extent of territory in said county, and the 
inconvenience of attending county concerns, and find the ^ame to 
be true.'' A division was deemed necessary,- and leave was 
granted to bring in a bill, which was twice read the same day, 
and passed through the legislature without opposition, being as 

Act^ erecting Lewis and Jefferson Counties, Passed March 28, 1805. 

1. " Be it enaded bythe people of the StcUe of New York, represented in 
Senate and Assembly, *That all that part of the county of Oneida, contained 
within the following bounds, to wit: Beginning at the southwest corner 
of the town of Ellisburgh, on the easterly shore of Lake Ontario, and 
ninning along the southerly line of said town ; thence along the easterly 
line thereof to the southwest corner of the town of Malta ; thence along the 
southerly line of the said town of Malta, and continuing the same course to 
the corner of townships number two, three, seven and eight; thence 
north along the east line of the town of Malta aforesaid to the northeast 
corner thereof; thence in a direct line to the corner uf the towns of Rut- 
land and Champion ; thence along the line between the said town of 
Champion and thQ town of Harrisburgh, to' Black River; thence in a 
direct line to the bounds of the county of St. Lawrence, to intersect the 
same at the corner of townships numbers seven, and eleven, in Great 
Tract number three, of Macomb's Purchase ; thence along the westerly 
bounds of the said county of St Lawrence to the north bounds of tiiis 
state; thence westerly and southerly along said bounds, including all the 
islands in the River St Lawrence, in Lake Ontario, and in front thereof, 
and within this state to the place of beginning, shall be, and hereby is, 
erected into a sepai'ate county, and shall be called and known by the name 
of Jefferson. 

2. w^tk/ be it further enacted, that all that part of the said county of Oneida, 
contained within the following bounds, to wit: Beginning at the south- 
east corner of the county of Jefferson aforesaid, thence southerly along 
the westerly line of the town of Turin to the southwest confer thereof; 
Chence easterly along the south line of said town to the southeast corner 
thereof; thence north, sixty two degrees east along the southerly line of 
the tract of land, known by the name of Macomb's Purchase, to the line 
of the county of Herkimer; thence north along the said last mentioned 
line to the bounds of the county of St. Lawrence ; thence along the 
sduthwesterly line of the said 1 ist mentioned county to the line of the 
county of Jefierson; and thence along the southerly and easterly bounds 
thereof, to the place of beginning, shall be and hereby is erected into a 
separate county, by the name of Lewis. 

3. ^nd bt it further enacted, that all that part of township number nine, 
which is comprised within the bounds of the said county of Jefferson, 
shall be annexed to and become a part of the town of Harrison, in said 
county, and that all that part of the said township number nine, comprised 
within the bounds of the said county of Lewi% shall be annexed to and 
become a part of the town of Harrisburgh, in said county. 

4. »^nd be it further enacted. That there shall be held in and for the said 
counties of Jefferson and Lewis, respectively, a court of common pleas, 
and general seMions of the peace, and that there shall be two terms of 

Act Erecting Jeferson and Lewis Counties. 27 

the md eoorta Id each of the said couDties respectively, in every year, 
19 commence and end as follows, that is to say: The first terra of the 
said court in the said county of Jefferson, shall begin on the second 
Taesday of June in every year, and may continue to be held until the 
Saturday following, inclusive, and the second term of the said court in 
the said county of Jefferson, shall begin on tlh second Tuesday of De- 
cember, of every-year, and may continue to be held until the Saturday 
following inclusive. And that the first term of the said court in the 
county of Lewis, shall begin on the said first Tuesday of June, in every 
year, and may continue to be held until the Saturday following inclusive, 
and the second term of the said court in the said county of I^wis, shall 
begin on the first Tuesday of December, and may continue to be held 
until the Saturday fbllowmg inclusive ; and the said courts of common 
pleas and general sessions of the peace, shall have the same jurisdiction, 
powers, and authorities, in the same counties respectively, as the court 
of common pleas, and general sessions of the peace, in the other counties 
of the state have in their respective counties; Provided always. That 
nothing in this act contained shall be construed to affect any suit or action 
ahready commenced, or that shall be commenced, before the first terms to 
be held in the respective counties of Jefferson and Lewis, so as to work 
a wrong or prejudice to any of the parties therein, or to affect any 
criminal or other proceedings on the part of the people of this state, but 
. all such civil and criminal proceedings, shall, and may be prosecuted to 
trial, judgment and execution, as if this act had not been passed; and 
further provided, that the first of the said courts in ea6h of the said coun- 
ties, shall be held on the second Tuesday of December next. 

5. AndheiiJwrQur enacted, That three commissioners shall be appointed 
fay the council of appointment, who shall not be resident within the 
western district of this state, or interested in either of the said counties 
of Jefferson or Lewis, for the purpose of designating the scites for the 
court houses and gaols, of the said couuties respectively, and to that end 
the said commissioners shall as soon as may be, previous to the first day 
of October next, repair to the said counties respectively, and aAer explor- 
ing the same, ascertain and designate a fit and proper place in each of 
the said counties for erecting the said buildings, and that until such 
buildings^ shall be erected, and further legislative provision be made in 
the premises, the said courts of common pleas ana general sessions of 
the peace, shall be held at such place in each of the said counties, nearest 
and most contiguous to the places designated as the scites for said build- 
ings, as the said commissioners or any two of them shall determine and 
^ upon ; and the said commissioners, or any two of them, are hereby 
required as soon as they have designated the places for erecting the said 
buildings, and determined upon the places for holding the said courts, 
to make out and sign a certificate, certifying the place designated for 
erecting the said buildings, and places fixed on for holding courts, in each 
of the said counties, and to transmit one of the said certificates to each of 
the clerks of the respective counties, who are required to receive and file 
the same in their respective' ofiices, and that the said commissioners 
shall be entitled to receive, each, the sum of four dollars per day, for the 
time they may be necessarily employed in executing the trusts reposed 
in them by this act, the one moiety thereof to be paid by each of the said 

6. Jind be iifurthar enacted. That the free||plders and inhabitants of the 
•aid counties respectively, shall have and enj[oy, within the same, all and 
every the same rights, powers and privileges as the freeholders and in- 
habitants of any other county in uiis state are by law entitled to hav« 

28 Changes in Boundaries of County. 

7. And he it further enacted^ That it shall and may be lawful for all 
courts, and officers of the said counties of Jefferson and Lewis, respect- 
ively, in all cases, civil and criminal, to confine their prisoners in the gaol 
or gaols of the county of Oneida, until gaols shall he provided in the 
same counties respectively, and the said counties paying each the charges 
of their own prisoners. • 

8. And be it further enacted. That in the distribution of representation io 
the assembly of this state, there shall be three members in the county 
of Oneida, and one in the counties of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence, 
any law to the contrary notwithstandinir. 

9. And be it further encuied, That no circuit court, or courts of oyer and 
terminer, and general gaol delivery, shall be held in either of the said 
counties of JeSferson and Lewis, until the seme shall in the opinion of 
the justices of the supreme court become necessary. 

10. And be it further enacted, That the said counties of Jefferson and 
Lewis, shall be considered as part of the western district of this state, 
and also as part of the fifteenth congressional district, and that as re- 
spects all proceedings under the act, entitled '*an act relative to district 
attornies," the said counties shall be annexed to and become a part of 
the district now composed of the cuunties of Herkimer, Otsego, Oneida, 
and Chenango. 

11. And be it further enacted. That as soon as mny be, afler the first 
Monday of April, in the year 1806, the supervisors of the said counties 
of Oneida, Jefiferson, and Lewis, on notice being first given by the su|>er- 
visors of the said counties of Jefiferson and Lewi?, or of either of them, 
for thnt j)urpose shall meet together by themselves, or by committees 
appointed by their respective boards, and divide the money unappro- 
priated, belonging to the said county of Oneida, previous to the division 
thereof, agreeable to the last county tax list. 

1*2. And be it further enacted, That the votes, taken at the election in the 
said counties of Jefiferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence, shall be returned to 
the clerk of the county of Oneida, to be by him estimated and disposed 
of, as is directed by the statute regulating elections. 

13. And be it further enacted. That all that part of the town of Leyden, 
remaining in the county of Oneida, shall be and remain a separate town, 
by the name of Boonsville, and the first town meeting shall be held at 
the house of Joseph Denning, and all the remaining part of the town of 
Leyden, which is comprised within the bounds of the county of Lewis, 
shall be and remain a town bv the name of Leyden, kud the first town 
meeting shall be Held at the dwelling house of llezekiah Talcott. 

14. And be it further enacted, That a J soon as may be, afier the first 
town meeting in each of said towns, the supervisors, and overseers of the 
X>oor, of said towns of Leyden, and Boonsville, shall by notice to be given 
for that purpose, by the supervisors thereof^ meet together, and apportion 
the money and poor of said town of Leyden, previous to the division 
thereof, according to the last tax list, and that each of said towns shall 
thereafier respectively maintain their own poor." 

The relative limits of Jefferson and Lewis counties have been 
three times changed. It will be noticed by reference, that the 
present town of Pinckney, was then divided by a line that was 
a continuation of the west lines of towns 8 and 3, of fioylston's 
Tract; and, that from the^ne between Championand Denmark, 
on Black River, the division ran straight to St. Lawrence County 
where the line of townships 7 and 11 of tract III touched 

Location^ of PtMie Buildings. 39 

the county line. On the 12th of February, 1808, the whole 
of No. 9 (Pinckney) was included in Lewis County. On the 
6th of April, 1810, the line east of the river, beginning as 
before at the east corner of Champion, ran thence to S. W. 
corner of a lot in 11th W. and 21st N. ranges, subdivisions of 
No. 5; thence E. between 20 and 21, northern ranges, to S. W. 
corner of lot in 10 W., 21 N. range; thence N. between 10 and 
11, to S. line of lot No. 4; thence E. to 808-9; thence along 
808-9, to lot 857; thence to S. E. corner of 857 and 809, to 
N. E. corner of 851; then W. on line of lots 851 and 850, to 
S. W. corner of 850; thence N. E. alonpj line of lots to St. 
Lawrence County. On the 2d of April 1813, the present line 
between the two counties was established, by which this county 
received considerable accessions from Lewis in the town of 
Wilna. By an act of March 17, 1815, the several islands within 
the^imits of this state, in the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, 
lying in front of this county, were attached to it. By several 
acts the sovereignty of small tracts on Stony Point, Horse Island, 
Galloo Island, Tibbet's Point, and Carlton Island, has been 
ceded to the United States, for the purpose of erecting light 
houses, the state retaining concurrent civil and criminal juris- 
diction therein. 

The governor, and council of appointment, accordingly desig- 
nated Matthew Dorr^ David Rodger s, and John Van Bentheusen, 
commissioners to locate the site of the court house and jail; and 
a section in an act, passed April 7, 1806, provided that their 
expenses should be audited by the comptroller, and paid by tax 
upon the counties. The portion paid by this county was $205. 
How faithfully their trust was executed, it may not be our duty 
to enquire; but in Lewis county, they were openly charged with 
having come predetermined in their choice, and an affidavit was 
procured from bne who had overheard their conversation, in 
which this fact was distinctly indicated. As matters have since 
settled down, their decision here has doubtless been productive of 
the greatest benefit to the county, although the precise locality 
has always been somewhat inconvenient on account of its dis- 
tance from the business part of the village. This question of 
location was not settled without the most active efforts being 
made by Brownville to secure the site; but the balance of settle- 
ment was then south of Black River, and the level lands in the 
north part of the county were represented to the commissioners 
as swampy and incapable of settlement. Jacob Brown, finding 
it impossible to secure this advantage to his place, next endea- 
vored to retain it, at least, north of Black River, and offered an 
eligible site in the present town of Pamelia; but in this he also 
failed* The infiuence of Henry Coffeen is said to have been 

80 Location and Erection of Buildings. 

especially strong with the commissioners, although he was se- 
conded by others of much ability. It is said that the site was 
marked at some distance below the business part ot the village of 
Watertown, to conciliate those who had been disappointed in its 
location. A deed of the premises was presented by Henry and 
Amos CoiFeen which were, it is. said, intended to include the 
triangular lot since sold to private individuals. 

The f rst meeting of the board of supervisors was held in the 
school house, on the site of the Universalist Church in Watertown, 
October 1, 1805, and the following persons constituted the first 
board. Noadiah Hubbard, Champion; CUflF French, Rutland; 
Corl is Hinds, Watertovm; John W. jCollinf, Brownville; Nich- 
olas Salisbury, Mams; Thomas White, Harrison; layman Ellis, 
Ellisburgh; Asa Brown, Malta. N. Hubbard was chosen pre- 
sidenty and Zelotus Harvey cierk. The meeting was adjourned 
to the house of Abijah Putnam. Cliff French, Thomas White, 
and Corlis Hinds, were appointed a committee to procure a con- 
veyance of the land on which the court house and jail were to 
be erected. The following was the aggregate of the real and 
personal estate in the several towns: Ellisburg, $80,109; W^ater- 
town, $69,986-60; Adams, $33,606; Brownville, $447,240; 
Harrison, $43,395; Malta, $49,248; Rutland, $44,829; Cham- 
pion, $42,578-50; Total, $805,992. Henry Coffeen presented 
a bill of $85*86, and Jacob Brown of $100, for attendance at 
Albany, in procuring the division of Oneida county, which 
were rejected. The latter had been appointed bythe convention 
at Denmark for that purpose. Hart Massey was appointed sealer 
of weights and measures, and $45, and the next year $30 were 
voted to purchase a set of standards of specified materials. 

In 1806, the board consisted of Jacob Brown, Corlis Hinds, 
Perley Keyes, Noadiah Hubbard, Jonathan Davis, Augustus 
Sacket, Ethni Evans, Jesse Hopkins, Asa Brown, and Nicholas 
Salisbury. J. Brown and' A. Sacket were appointed to settle all 
accounts pending with Oneida and Lewis counties, by meeting 
at Whitestown, with committees to be chosen by them for the 
purpose. At a subsequent meeting they reported $328*61 due 
to Jefferson; $293*54 to Lewis, and $1670*73 to Oneida counties, 
from the funds on hand at the time of division. Messrs. Hinds, 
Salisbury, and J. Brown, were appointed to report the expediency 
and probable cost of a jail, and the most advisable course to be 
pursued. The expense of sending prisoners to Whitestown was 
found heavy, and it was apprehended that public officers would 
reluctantly spend their time in going to and from thence. *' Hence 
many criminals might escape a just punishment, and the county 
might be infested with criminals to the great danger and injury 
of its inhabitants." The committee reported that two-thirds of 

Jail lAmit$* 81 

all county charges were paid by non resident taxes, and a pro- 
spect then existed that this law would be repealed. .They, 
therefore, advised the immediate erection of a jail, and it was 
estimated it could be built for $4,500,^ that $2,500 would pro- 
yide one better for the interests of the county than the existing 
system. J. Brown and A. Sackett werfe appointed to draft a 
petition to the legislature whiA procured on the 20th of Feb. 
a law authorizing a tax of $2,500 for erecting a court house and 
jail, and Feb. 19, 1808, a further tax of 2,500 was applied for. In 
1807, Noadiah Hubbard and Zelotus Harvey were appointed a 
committee to meet a similar one from Lewis County, to ascertain 
the boundary of the i^ counties. William Smith, Gershom Tuttle 
and N. Hubbard, were appointed to build a jail after a plan to be 
approved by the board. It was to be 40 by 60 feet, built of 
wood, and fronting eastward, and v^s built in 1807-8, by Wm. 
Rice and Joel Mix, after the plans of Wm. Smith. It contained 
a jail in tlie first story, and stood a little south of the present Jail. 
On the 30th of Jan. 1808, the superintendents were empowered 
*' to build a sufficient tower and cupola on the centre of said 
building, and cover the dome of said cupola with tin, and so 
construct the said tower and cupola that it shall be sufficiently 
strong and convenient so as to hang a bell, and to erect a sphere 
and vane, and also a suitable rod to conduct the lightning from 
said building." On the 5th of Oct. 1808, the accounts of the 
Court House audited, including extra work and services of com* 
mittee, amounted to $4,997.&. W^m. Smith was directed to 
purchase the necessary fixtures for the Court House and Jail, at an 
estimated cost ot $262*87. 

In 1807 (Aug. 13), the jail liberties were first established, and 
deserve mention from the singular manner in which they were 
laid out. They covered a small space around the Court Houscy 
and a part of the Public Square, and included most of the houses 
in the village, while between these localities, along the sides of 
the roads, and sometimes in the centre, were paths^ from four to 
eight feet wide, with occasional crossings, so that by carefully 
oraerving his route, turning right angles, and keeping himself in 
the strict ranges which the court had established, a man might 
visit nearly every building in the village; but if the royte was 
by any accident obstructed by ^ pile of lumber, a pool of tnud, 
or a loaded wagon, he must pass over, or through, or pnder; or 
else expose himself to the peril of losing this precarious freedom, 
by close imprisonment, and subjecting his bail to prosecution for 
the violation of his trust. In several instances, persons were 
thus dealt with, where they had inadvertently turned aside from 
the straight and narrow path, to which the statutes of that period 
allowed the creditor to consign bis unfortunate debtor. A map 

32 CUi^^9 Office^ Court House^ and JatL 

of these limits, prepared by Jonas Smith, who for several years 
had made these details a subject of daily observation from ne- 
cessity, was prepared in July, 1811, and deposited in the clerk's 
office. It is interesting from its containing the names of those 
who then owned houses in the village, of whom there were.about 
fifty. These limits were maintained till Feb. 23, 1821, when 
an act was passed defining a rectangular area around the village 
as the jail limits. In 1808 a series of maps was directed to be 
prepared by Jonas Smith, for the comptroller's office, at a cost 
of $100, and at the same session Messrs. Richardson, Hubbard 
and Hopkins, were appointed to petition the legislature for a 
law to provide for the destruction of Canada thistles. On the 
9th of October, 1815, the supervisors voted a petition for a tax 
of $1000 to build a fire-proof clerk's office, and April 5, 1816, 
an act was passed accordingly, allowing a tax not exceeding 
$1500 for this purpose, and Ebenezer Wood, Ethel fironson and 
Egbert Ten Eyck were named as commissioners to build the 
same. The conduct of a certain senator, in substituting the 
name oi another man for that of Judge Brown on the committee, 
was most strongly condemned by a subsequent vote of the super- 
visors. A clerk's office was accordingly built between the pre- 
sent Episcopal Church and the Public Square, and was occupied 
until the preset one was erected in 1831, in accordance with an 
act of Jan. 26, 1831. The supervisors in 1829 had appointed a 
committee to investigate the matter, and in 1830 had petitioned 
for the act, which named Daniel Wardwell, Eli West, and Ste- 
phen D. Sloan, commissioners for this purpose, who were em- 
powered to borrow on the credit of the county $1000, for the 
purpose, and to sell the former office and lot. 

In December, 1817, the Court House was injured by fire, which 
occasioned a meeting of the board, and $500 were voted for re- 
pairs. On the 9th of Feb. 1821, the Court House and Jail were 
burned, and on the 12th, the supervisors met to take into con- 
sideration the measures necessary for the occasion. A petition 
was forwarded for a law authorizing a tax of $8000 to rebuild 
the county buildings, and a loan of $6000 for the same purpose. 
It was resolved to build the jail, separate from the court house, 
and both buildings were to be of stone. Elisha Camp, Nathan 
Strong and John Brown, were appointed commissioners to super- 
intend the building. Premiums of $10 for a plan of a court 
house, and $15 for one of a jail, were oflfered. An act was ac- 
cordingly passed, March 13, 1821, for the separate erection of 
these buildings, at a cost not exceeding $8000, under the 
direction of Eliphalet Edmonds, Henry H. Coffieen and Jabez 
Foster. The courts meanwhile were to be held, at the brick 
academy, and criminals were to be sent to the Lewis County JaiL 

Maintenance of Prieonen. » 33 

•A loan not exceeding f 6000 was authorized from the state. On 
(he 28th of March the board met, and the plan for a jail offered 
by Wm. Smith, was iadopted, and a resolution was passed pro- 
riding for solitary cells. The court house was agreed to Jbe 44 
by 48 feet, after a plan by J. H. Bishop. This necessity of an 
outlay for new buildings revived the question of a new site, and 
among others, the citizens of Sackets Harbor made diligent efforts, 
by petition, to secure their location, but without success; and in 
the same season the present Court House and a part of the present 
Jail were erected, which continued to be occupied until November 
1848, when the Hon. Jas. M. Comstock, one of the inspectors of 
county and state prisons, reported to the Hon. Robert Lansing, 
judge of the county, the entire failure of the County Jail to meet 
the requirements of the statute in relation to the safety, health 
and proper classification of prisoners, and expressed his belief 
that the arrangements required by law could not be attained, 
without the construction of a new prison building. This report, 
approved by the judge, and certified by the clerk of the board, 
was laid before the supervisors, a committeee appointed, who 
visited the Jail and confirmed the report, but after repeated efforts 
the board failed to agree upon a resolution providing for the 
necessary rebuilding of the county prison. This led to the issue 
of a writ of mandamus, by the supreme court, in •December, on 
the motion of G. C. Shermian, requiring the board of supervisors 
to proceed without delay to the erection of a new jail, or the 
repair of the one then existing. This necessity for a new prison 
suggested the project of the division of the county into two jury 
districts, and the erection of two sets of buildings, at other places 
than Watertown, and the question became, for a short time, one 
of considerable discussion in various sections of the county. The 
question was settled by the erection of. an extensive addition 
to the Jail, two stories high, and considered adequate for the 
wants of the county for some time to come, at least, if the course 
adopted was that recommended by the board of supervisors, Oc- 
tober 20, 1820; as set forth in the following resolution: 

" Whereas the maintenance of prisoners, committed to the 
County Jail for small offences, is the manner that they have been 
usually sentenced, has been attended with great expense to the 
people of this county, apd in many instances has operated to 
punish the county with taxes, more than the criminals for offences, 
and whereas some courts of special sessions have sentenced them ^ 
to imprisonment upon bread and water, which lessens the expense 
to this county, and the same operates as a punishment more 
effectually than longer terms of imprisonment would in the 
ordinary way; the board of supervisors, therefore, recommend 
generally to magistrates and courts of sessions in mittimusesi 

34 « Poor Hcuie Sy&tem. 

upon conviction of petty crimes, to make the length of confine- 
ment less, and direct the jailor to keep the offenders upon bread 
and water during the time of their imprisonment. The board 
"would recommend in such cases that the prisoners be not sen- 
tenced to be kept longer than thirty days in any case, it may 
endanger the health ol the convicts. 

Resolved^ That the jailer for the future, be directed not to % 
procure any thing more expensive for criminals than moccasins 
at fifty cents a pair, instead of shoes, nor procure any hats, and 
to purchase as little clothing as possible, and that of the poorest 
and least expensive kind." 

. Previous to the adoption of the poor-house system, each town 
supported its own poor, and the records of the board show annual 
appropriations in many of the towns for that purpose, of from 
$50 to $800. In 1817, $50 was voted to build a town poor- 
house in Le Ray, ' and in 1822 the supervisors recommended to 
the several towns to take into consideration at their next annual 
meetings the propriety of building a poor house and house of 
industry for the county, as advised by an act of March 3, 1820. 
In April, 1825, a meeting of the board was called, and a com- 
mittee, consisting of Messrs. Hubbard, Hart and Stewart, was 
appointed to ascertain the Qiost suitable site for erecting a poor 
house, and the price for which a farm could be purchased, within 
five miles of the Court House. The cost of buildings was limited 
to $2000. They were directed to advertise for proposals for 
purchasing a farm, if they should think proper. On the 7th of 
June an adjourned meeting of the supervisors met to hear the 
above report. After visiting the premises in a body, it was re-, 
solved to purchase the Dudley Farm in Le Ray, five miles from 
Watertown, containing 150 acres, at $10 per acre. Committees 
were appointed to procure titles, and to fit up the premises, 
which continued to be occupied for that purpose until Nov. 1832, 
when the supervisors voted a petition for the power to sell the 
property and borrow $4000 on the credit of the county, for build- 
ing a new one on a new site, if the interests of the county re- 
quired it. They procured an act, January 25, 1833, granting 
this power, and providing for th% execution of this truist, by three 
commissioners to be appointed by the supervisors. At their fol- 
lowing session, the board, after mucl^ discussion, finally agreed 
to erect a new poor house, on a farm of 100 acres, purchased of 
J. Foster, for $1500, about a mile below Watertown, north of 
the river, and Orville Hungerford, Joseph Graves, and Bernard 
Bagley, were appointed to carry the resolution into effect. 

The distinction between town and county poor was abolished 
by a vote of the supervisors in November, 1834, and this has 
been since several times changed. In 1832, the experiment of 

Chohra Expetuet* • 8A 

picking oakmn xvas tried with a profit of $154 the first year. 
The culture of the mulberry has also been attempted, but with 
small success. The first superintendents of the poor house, ap- 

?>inted in 1826, were Orville Hungerford, Wip. S. Ely, Peter 
andes, John Hoover, and Asher Wilmot, and an equal number 
was annuaUy appointed until the adoption of the' present con- 
f stitut ion. The persons elected under the general law, were David 
Montague, Charles F. Symonds and Phineas Hardy, in 1848; 
Martin J. Hutchins, 1849; Peter S.Houk, 1850; Austin Everitt, 
1851. It being thought by certain ones that the general law 
was not the best that could be devised for the county, an effort 
was made in 1852, which procured on the 12th of April an 
act which directed but one overseer of the poor to 1)e here- 
after elected in each town in this county, and the duties of 
overseers of the poor were conferred upon ^he supervisor and 
such overseer, in the several towns, who were to be associated 
together in affording relief to the indigent within certain limits, 
to be prescribed by the board of supervisors for each town. No 
superintendents of the poor were to be thereafter elected, but one 
is to be appointed by the board of supervisors, to hold his office 
during their pleasure. He is to reside at the poor house, and be 
the keeper thereof. In case of vacancy, the county judge, clerk 
and treasurer, or any two of them, are to fill the vacancy by 
temporary appointment until another is chosen. In the fall of 
1854, and annually, afterwards, two visitors are to be appointed 
by the board of supervisors, to visit the poor house every two 
months, and examine its books and management. Contracts for 
medicines and medical attendance, are to be made by the super- 
visors, individually, in the several towns, and as a board for the 
poor house. They have also the power of directing the manner 
in which supplies for the poor house shall be purchased, which 
directions the superintendent is obliged to follow. The provisions 
of this act apply to no other county than this. The board of 
supervisors, in iaccordance with powers thus conferred, appointed 
Alpheus Parker, superintendent, who entered upon his duties 
Jaa 1, 1853. His salary was fixed at $600, by a resolution of 
the board, passed Nov. 1852. This system has not been in 
operajtion long enough to afford a knowledge of its merits com- 
pared with the general system. 

Among the appropriations for benevolent purposes, may be 
classed the expenses resulting from the Health Law of 1832, as 
a guard against the ravages of the cholera, which in the several 
towns were as follows, viz: Adams $19*00, Alexandria $159'93» 
Antwerp $31-50, Brownville $60:13, Champion $250, EUis- 
burgh $193-50, Henderson $114*35, Houndsfield $795* 12, Lor- 
raine $9*50, Lyme $443*08, Orleans $267*22, Pamelia $6*75, 

30 Bounties for WiU Anitnals. — Early Courts. 

Rutland $10-00, Wilna $12*85, Philadelphia $10-50, Watertown 
$167-05, LeRay $2-00, Total $2299-98. But little, if any good, 
resulted from this expenditure, as the disease scarcely appeared 
in the county. . 

Of bounties for the destruction of noxious animals, every new 
country affords examples, but in this, much less than in some 
others. The want of uniformity in the several towns, led the^ 
board of supervisors in 1808, to recommend that $5 should be 
made the limit of town bounties. This diversity of premiums 
presented a temptation for fraud, and in some instances it is said, 
wolves were driven from one town into another by hunters, to 
gain the extra sum there offered. The board has usually voted 
a county bounty, which from 1805 to 1819 was $10 for wolves 
and panthers, except that it was in 1815, 16, 17 and 18, $20 
for the latter. In 1819 $10 was voted for panthers and in 1820 
the same for wolves and panthers, with half price for the young. 
In 1821 there were no bounties p;ranted. For several years after 
they were continued at $10, seldom amounting to more than half 
a dozen in a year. 

The first records of Courts are dated June 1807, but others must 
have been held earlier. An act was passed^ April 1806, directing 
three terms of the court of common pleas to be held in this 
county and Lewis, ^ince which the times of holding courts have 
been repeatedly changed. Tradition says, that, after formal ad* 
journment, thC' first court, which was held in the school house, on 
the ground now covered by the Universalist Church, became a 
scene of fun and fiolic, which has since been seldom equaled. 
The greater part of the settlers were young or middle aged men, 
some indulged in habits of intemperance; the customs of the 
day did not discountenance practical joking, and athletic games 
were invariably the accompaniments of all gatherings. More- 
over they had been just organized, and must have business for 
their courts, else what the need of having courts ? Should any 
one evince a disinclination to join in these proceedings, they were 
accused of ^'sneakism," and arraigned before a mock tribunal, 
where, guilty or not guilty, the penalty of^a "quarter," was sure 
to be imposed for the benefit of the crowd. Among other charges 
was one against Esq. H., of Rutland, a man of very sober and 
candid character, who was charged with stealing. Conscious of 
innocence, he offered to be searched, when a quantity of dough 
was found in both pockets of his coat. Thus implicated by cir- 
cumstances which he could not explain, he was fined. Another 
was accused of falling asleep, and fined a shilling, and another 
was fined a like sum for smoking in the court room. After pay- 
ing the penalty, he resumed his pipe, and was again arraigned, 
when he entered his plea that the fine was for a pipe full, which 

Early Courts. 37 

he had not finished, and this afforded a subject of legal argument 
for discussion, that elicited the research and ability of the lawyers 
present As the avowed intention was to make business for all 
the new officers, one was stripped and laid out on a board, loosely 
oorered with cloth, and a coroner sent for, who commenced a 
Bona fide examination, that was interrupted by some one tipping 
^>ver the board, when the ^'subject" of the hoax jumped up and 
fled. There had not thus far been any business for the sheriff, 
but this was at length made, by their finding one who had crept 
mto the garret for concealment. He was dragged before their 
tribunal, where it was decided that his failing was a disease^ 
rather than a mme, and required an enema. This '^carnival" 
was continued, the second day, and although the officers of the 
court affected to abstain from these frolics, yet judicial dignity 
offered no exemption from them, and all parties, whether willing 
or unwilling, were compelled to join. Companies, distingui>hed 
by personal peculiarities, were paraded under officers selected for 
the prominence of these traits, as "long noses," &c, while the lit- 
tle short men were organized into a party, and charged with the 
duty of "keeping the cats off." These follies may be considered 
puerile, but not more so than the annual carnival in some Eu- 
ropean countries, and their record is interesting from illustrating 
the custom of the times, when athletic games were fashionable, 
and men seldom met in nunfbers without having "a regular train.** 
The first criminal convictions in the county, are said to have 
been those of Springsteel and Jones, who, having committed a 
burglary in Brownville, were pursued and arrested in Denmark, 
Lewis County. Not having yet had any business of this kind 
for their courts, some of the inhabitants rallied, and an attempt 
was made to detain the prisoners there for trial, but without 
success. The records of the court of oyer and terminer and 
general jail delivery commence, June 17, 1807, at which 
Smith Thompson was present nsjustice^ Augustus Sacket, Joshua 
Bealls, and Perley Keyes, judges, and Lyman Ellis, assistant 
justice. Courts continued to be held at the school house until 
the summer of 1809, when the Court House was opened. 

An Act was passed April 18, 1815, by which all free males, of 
legal age, worth $150, in personal property, and holding a con- 
tract for lands, were made qualified to serve as jurors in several 
counties, among others, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin and 

The time of meeting of the board of supervisors was by an 
Act of April 8, 1834, fixed at the Monday next after the general 
election, and the judges of the county courts were directed to 
meet them on Tuesday of the first week of their sessions, for the 
appoinlment of officers. 



From time immemorial, down to a few years after the close of 
the revolution, the title of lands in this section of the state, was 
shared in doubtful supremacy by savages and other denizens of 
the forest At the earliest period of authentic history, the Lro- 
quois confederacy, and the Oneida nation in particular, were 
acknowledged to be the owners of the greater portion of our 
territory; which, according to Gautinonty, a chief of the Oswe- 
gatchie tribe, extended as far north as a line running from the 
mouth of French Creek to Split Rock on Lake Champlain; while 
the Oswegatchies claimed the land north, as faf down the St. 
Lawrence as Cat Island (Louisville), where a monument had 
been erected by Sir John Johnson.* The Gneidas, according to 
a map and survey by Arent Marselis, at the request of John 
Duncan, and by order of the surveyor general, claimed" from the 
• Line of Property ' reversed, and continued from the Canada 
Creek, till it comes to a certain mountain called EsoiadCy or the 
Ice Mountain, under which mountain that Canada Cre^ek, oppo- 
site to the Old Fort Hendrick, heads; from thence running 
westerly to an old fort which stood on the creek, called Weter^ 
inghra Guentercy and which empties into the River St. Lawrence, 
about twelve miles below Carlton or Buck's Island, and which 
fort the uneidas took from their enemies a long time ago; from 
thence running southerly to a rift upon the Onondaga River 
called Ogoutenagea, or Aguegonteneayea (a place remarkable 
for eels), about five miles from where the river empties out of the 
Oneyda Lake.'^f Marselis was doubtless the first surveyor in the 
county, and there is preserved a traverse of Hungry Bay made by 
him, in September, 1789, which began " at a monument or red 
painted post, set up by the Indians, as a division line between 
the Onendago and Oneida nation;" from which it would seem 
that the former claimed some right on the eastern shore of Lake 
Ontario. To extinguish these claims, a treaty was held at Fort 
Stanwix, October 22d, 1784, with the Six Nations, by which all 
the country, east of a lin^ drawn fpom Johnson's Landing Place 
on the Lake Ontario, and keeping four miles east of the carrying 
path between that lake and Lake Erie, to the mouth of Tehose- 
roron, or Buffalo Creek, and thence south, to the north line of 
Pennsylvania, and down the Ohio, was ceded to the United 

* Special message of Gov. JJewis, Assem. Journal, 1804-5, p. 49. 

t Tilt original iurvey bill and map ar« fiUd itt the state anginetr^i offlct . 

Treaty with the Oneidas. 39 

States. The Oneidas were represented at this treaty by two 
chiefs. This tribe, by a defii^ite treaty held in September, ITSS, 
conveyed the greater part of their lands to the state, by the 
following instrument, the original of which is preserved in the 
secretary's office; it is on a sheet of parchment about two feet 
square, with thirty -five seals of the parties, and appended to it 
is a string of wampum, made of six rows of cylindrical white 
and blue beads, strung upon deer skin cords. This belt is about 
two inches wide and nearly two feet long. 

•At a Treaty held at Fort Schuyler, formerly called Fort Stanwix, in 
the state of New York, by His Excellency George Clinton, governor of 
the said State, and Wiliam Floyd, Ezra L'Homraedieu, Richard Varick, 
Samuel Jones, Egbert Benson, and Peter Gransevoort, Junior, (Commis- 
sioners, authorized for that purpose by and on behalf of the People of 
the State of New York,) with the tribe or nation of Indians, called the 
Oneidas. It is on the 22nd day of September, 1788, covenanted and 
eoncladed as follows. Firtl, the Oneidas do cede and grant, all their 
lands to the people of the state of New York, forever, ^condly^ of the 
Bcjd ceded lands, the following tract, to wit: Beginning at the Wood 
Creek, opposite to the mouth of the Canada Creek, and where the lirie 
of property comes to the said Wood Creek and runs thence southerly to 
the northwest comer of the tract, to be granted to John Francis Pearche, 
tbence along the westerly bounds of the said tract to the southwest 
corner thereof, thence to the northwest corner of the tract granted to 
James Dean, tbence along the westerly bounds thereof to the southwest 
eome^ of the last mentioned tract, thence due south until it intersects a 
doe west line fronr the head of the Tienadaha, or Unadilla River, thence 
from the said point of intersection due west, until the Deep Spring bears 
due north, tbence due north to the Deep Spring; thence the nearest 
course to the Caneserage Creek, and tbence alon^ the said Creek, the 
Oneida Lake, and the Wood Creek, to the place ot beginning, shall be 
reserved for the following uses, that is to say: The lands lying to the 
northward of a line parallel to the southern line of the said leserved 
lands and four miles distant from the said southern line, the Oneidas 
shall liold to themselves and their posterity forever, for their own use and 
cultivation, but not to be sold, leased, or in any other manner aliened or 
disposed of to others. The Oneidas may from time to time forever make 
kaaea of the lands between the said parallel line, (being the residue of 
the said reserved lands,) to such persons, and on such rents reserved as 
they shall deem proper, but no lease shall be for a longer term than 
twenty-one years from the making thereof, and no new lease shall be 
made, until the former lease of the same lauds shall have expired. The 
lentB shall be to the use of the Oneidas and their posterity forever. And 
the people of the state of New York shall, from time to time, make pro- 
vision by law to compel the leasees to pay the rent, and in every other 
respect enable the Oneidas andjtheir posterity to have the full benefit of 
their right, so to make leases, and to prevent frauds on them, respecting 
the same. And the Oneidas, and their posterity forever, shall enjoy the 
free right of hunting in every part of the said ceded lands, and of fishing 
ID all the waters within the same, and especially there shall forever re- 
main uugranted by the |)eople of the state of New York, one half mile 
square at the distance of every six miles of the lands along the northern 
bouoda of the Oneida Lake, one half mile in breadth of the lands on 

40 Treaty mth the Oneidas. 

each side of Fish Creek,* and a convenient piece of land at the fishing 
place in the Ouondago River, about three miles from where it issues out 
of the Oneida Lake, and to remain as well for the Oneidas and their 
posterity, as for the inhabitants of said state, to land and encamp on, but, 
notwithstanding any reservation to the Oneidas, the people of the state 
may erect public works and edifices as they shall think proper, at such 
place or places, at or near the confluence of Wood Creek and the Oneida 
Lake, as they shall elect, and may take or appropriate for such works or 
buildings, lands to the extent of one square mile at each place. And 
further, notwithstanding any reservation of lands to the Oneidas, for their 
own use, the New England Indians, (now settled at Brotherton, under the 
Reverend Samson Occum,) and their posterity forever, and the Stock- 
bridffe Indians and their posterity forever, and to enjoy their settlements 
on the lands heretofore given to them by the Oneidas for that purpose, 
that is to say, a tract of two miles iu breadth, and three miles in length, 
for the New England Indians, and a tract of six miles square, for the 
Stockbridge Indians. Thirdly^ in consideration of the said cession and 
grant, the people of the stafV of New York do at this treaty pay to the 
Oneidas two thousand dollars in money, two thousand dollars in clothing, 
and other goods, and one thousand dollars in provisions, and also ^ve 
hundred dollars in money, to be paid towards building a grist mill, and a 
saw mill at their village, (the receipts of which moneys, clothing, goods and 
provisions the Oneidas do now acknowledge, j and the people of the state 
of New York shall annually pay to the Oneidas, and their posterity for- 
ever, on the first day of June in every year, at Fort Schuyler, aforesaid, 
six hundred dollars in silver, but, if the Oneidas or their posterity shall 
at any time hereafter elect, that the whole or any part of the said six ' 
hundred dollars shall be paid in clothing or provisions, and give six weeks 
previous notice thereof to the governor of the said state for the time 
being, then so much of the annual payment shall for that time be in 
clothing or provisions, as the Oneidas and their posterity shall elect, and 
at the price which the same shall cost the people of the state of New 
York at Fort Schuyler, aforesaid, and as a further consideration to the 
Oneidas, the people of the state of New York shall grant to the said John 
Francis Pearche, a tract of land ; Beginning in the line of property, at a 
certain cedar tree, near the road leading to Oneida, and runs from the 
8:iid cedar tree southerly along the line of property two miles, then 
westerly at right angles to the said line of property two miles, then north- 
erly at right angles to the last course two miles, and thence to the place 
of beginning, which the said John Francis Pearche, hath consented to 
accept from the Oneidas, in satisfiiction for an injury done to him by one 
of their nation. And fiirther the lands intended by the Oneidas for John 
T. Kirkland, and for George VV. Kirkland, being now appropriated to 
the use of the Oneidas, the people of the state of New York shall there- 
fore, by a grant of other lands, make compensation to the said John T. 
Kirkland, and George W. Kirkland. And further, that the people of the 
state of New York shall, as a benevolence from the Oneidas to Peter 
Penet, and in return for services rendered by him to their nation, grant 
to the same Peter Penet, of the said ceded lands, lying to the northward 
of the Oneida Lake, a tract of land ten miles square, wherever he shall 

* This reservation gave rise to many apprehensions on the part of the pur- 
chasers, as it was supposed to extend into the Boylston Tract, in Lewis County. 
The author is not aware how this affair wai settled. The reservation would, 
it is said, have covered 40,000 acres, if it extended the source of that stream. 
The patent to Macomb made no reservations in this point, so that the difficulty 
lay between the state and the ~ " 

Macomb'*9 Purchase. 41 

elect the same. H^urfUy, the people of the state of New York, may, in 

such manner as they shall deem proper, prevent any person, except the 

Oneidas, from residing or setthn^ on the lands so to be held by the 

Oneidas and their posterity, for their own use and cultivation, and if any 

person shall, without the consent of the people of the state of New York, 

come to reside or settle on the said lands or on any other of the lands so 

ceded as aforesaid, except the lands whereof the Oneidas may make leaseSi 

as aforesaid, the Oneidas and their posterity shall forehwith give notice 

of sacfa intrusions to the governor of the said state, for the time being. 

And further the Oneidas and their posterity forever, shall, at the request 

of the governor of the said state, bis aiding to the people of the state of 

New York, in the removing of all such intruders, and in apprehending 

not only such intruders but also felons and all other offenders, who may 

happen to be on the said ceded land, ^to the end that such intruders^ 

felons and other offenders may be brought to justice. 

In testimony whereof, as well the sachems, chief warriors, and othen 
of the said Oneidas, in behalf of their tribe, or nation, as the said governor 
and other commissioners of the people of the state of New York, have 
hereunto interchangeably set their hands and affixed their seals, the day 
and year first above written. 

Oda^hBtghte^ Kanofchweaga, Peier UlstqueUe, Toyokagtotandoj Shonovgh" 
Uffo, alias Jinlhony, Utaghniyon^o^ Tekeandyahhon, Otsetogou, Oneyanlu^ 
ahas Beech Tree, Thaghiaghgutsea, GaghsawedOy ThougtoeaehshaUj OjiS' 
talaU, alias Hemquarryt Thaghneghtolis, alias Hendricks jSmaghsalUgh^ 
Thafkaw&mgaloliSf alias Paulua, Jlgwelentongioas, alias Dormne Peier^ 
Kahektotan; Teyaughnihalk, Konwagaloty* Joneghjlishea, alias Z>anteL 
Mmnstonis, alias Blacksmith, Sagcwndha, Kaskonghguea, KanawgaUt,^ 
TkannfeaniUtpayon, Keanyoko, alias David, Hannah Soaolk,* Hononwayde.^ 

Gemge Clinton, EidCd Varick, Peter Oansevoort Jr,, ffm, Floyd, Samud 
Jena, Skenondonga, Ezra L'Hommedieu, Egbert Benton, 

At a treaty held at Kon-on-daigua, N. Y., Nov. 11, 1794, the United 
States confirmed this treaty of the Oneidas. 

The oflSce of Land Commissioners was created in 1786, and they 
urere clothed with discretionary powers in selling the unappro- 
priated lands of the state. The manner in which they exercised 
this trust has been made the subject of severe censure. On the 
22d of June, 1791, Alexander Macomb, of the city of New York, 
acting as the agent of a company said to consist of himself, 
D niel McCormick, and Wm. Constable, all of New York, ap- 
plied for the purchase of a tract of land since known as Macomb's 
Purchase,! embracing the greater part of Franklin, the whole 
of St Lawrence, excepting the " ten towns " and Massena, the 
whole of Jefferson (excepting Penet's square and Tibbet's Point), 
the whole of Lewis, and a part of Oswego counties. This pro- 
position included the islands in Lake Ontario and the St. Law- 
rence, fronting the tract, and excepted five per cent for roads, 
and all lakes of greater area than 1000 acres. The proposed 
price was eight pence per acre. One sixth piUrt was payable in 

• Women. 

t Fall details of this purchase, with a copy of his applications may be found 
in the Hitt. of St. Lawrence ana Franklin Counties, p. 258, it nq. 


42 Penet'9 Patent. 

one year, and the residue in five equal annual instalments. If 
one-sixth were secured by satisfactory bonds, and paid, and 
another sixth in like manner secured, Macomb was to receive a 
patent for a sixth part, in a square, in one of the corners of the 
tract, and the same rule was to be observed throughout, until the 
whole was paid. Carlton, or Buck's Island, and tbe Long 
Sault Island, were expressly reserved to the state. This pro- 
position was accepted, and the surveyor-general was directed to 
survey the tract at the expense of Macomb. On the 10th of 
January, 1792, he reported that the conditions had been com- 
plied with, and on that day a patent* was issued to Macomb, for 
i,920,000 acres, reseserving 800 acres to be located by the sur- 
veyor-general.f This included the whole of the tract not in the 
present counties of Franklin and St. Lawrence, an uncertainty 
existing in relation to the islands in the St. Lawrence, these were 
patented after the national boundary had been determined, and to 
other parties. The reservation stipulated to Penet, was confirmed 
by the following proceedings of the land commissioners. 

" At a meeting of the Commissioners of the Land Office of the 
state of New York, held at the secretary's office in the city of 
New York on Saturday the 8th day of August, 1789. Present, 
His Excellency, George Clinton, Esquire, Governor, Lewis A. 
Scott, Esquire, ^Secretary, Richard Varick, Esquire, Attorney 
General, and Gerardus Bancker, Treasurer. 

Resolvedy That the surveyor-general be directed to lay out for 
Peter Penet, and at his expense, the lands ceded by the Oneida 
Nation to the people of this state, by their deed of cession dated 
the 22d day of September last, lying to the northward of Oneida 
Lake, a tract of ten miles square, wherever he shall elect the 
same; and further, that he lay out for John Francis Pearche, and 
at his expense, a tract of land stipulated by the said deed of 
cession to be granted to him," &c., referring to a tract two 
miles square in Onei4a county. — Land Office Minutes^ Vol. 2, 
p. 66. 

On the 19th of Nov. 1789, the following action was taken: 
" The Surveyor-General, agreeable to an order of this board, of 
the 8th of August last, having made a return of survey for Peter 
Penet, of a tract of ten miles square, as elected by John Duncan, 
his agent (of the lands ceded by the Oneida Nation of Indians to 
the people of this state, by their deed of cession, dated the 22d 
day of Sept 1788), lying to' the northward of Oneida Lake, as by 

« Sec. Office Patents, b 23, p. 160. 

\ This was selected on Tibbet^s Point in Cape Vincent, at the outlet of the 
lake, which was patented to Capt. John Tibbets of Troy, and never formed 
a part of Macomb^s Porchase, It embraced but 600 acres, as surveyed by John 
Campbell in the fall of 1799. 

TUk9 of Penet Square. 43 

the said return of survey filed in the secretary's office, will more 
fully appear. And the said John Duncan, having as agent as afore- 
said, made application to the board for letters patent for the same. 
Resolved, therefore, that the Secretary do prepare letters patent, 
to the said Peter Penet, for the said tract of ten miles square, 
accordingly, and lay them before the board for their approba- 
tion. — Land Office Minutes^ vol. 2, p. 80. 

Peter Penet, by an instrument dated January 23, 1729,* made 
John Duncan his attorney, and the latter received, November 
19th, 1789, a patent,f for a tract ten miles square, which on the 
13th of July, 1790, he conveyedj for the nominal sum of five 
shillings to James Watson, and James Greenleaf of New York. 
February 26, 1795, Watson released^ to Greenleaf his half of 
the tract for jCICOO; the latter having, September 4th, 1797, 
conveyed by deed the 64,000 acres to Simon Desjardines|| for 

Desjardines conveyed to Nicholas Olive of New York, Jan- 
uary 29th, 1796,11 and the latter to Herman LeRoy, William 
Bayard, and James Mc Evers, 44,000 acres of this tract,** in 
trust as joint tenants for certain heirs, of whom Mallett Prevost, 
was entitled to 8,000 acres; John Lewis Grenus to 12,000 acres; 
Henry Finguerlin, Jr., 8,000 acres. At the time of this 
conffeyance Olive held these lands intrust, and 16,000 acres 
in his own right. A deed of partition between the proprietors 
was executed May 17th, 1802 ,tt according to a division by bal- 
lot, as follows: N. Olive 16,00U; J. L. Grenus 1,200; H. Fin- 
guerlin, Jr., 8,000; A. M. Prevost 8,000 acres, making 44,000 
acres, which wilh'SjOOO to Louis Le Guen, and 12,000 to John 
Wilkes previously conveyed by Olive, J J made 64,000 acres on 
the whole tract. After the deed of partition, and on the 11th 
of June, 1802, the proprietors released to one another the quan- 
tity allotted to each, as follows: John Wilkes and Louis Le 
Guen, to Le Roy, Bayard, and McEvers, of 44,000 acres; L., 
B., & M., and Louis Le Guen, to John Wilkes of 12,000; and 
L., B., & M.> and J. Wilkes to L. Le Guen of 8,000 acres.§§ 

Nicholas Olive, in his will, made his wife and Henry Cheriot 
his executors, and his widow afterwards married Simon Louis 
Pierre, Marquis de Cubieres of Paris, who WMth his wife did, 
May 9th, 1818, appoint L, B., and M to convey to Provost 
Grenus and Finguerlin, their several shares. The latter. May 

♦ Sec. office deeds 22, p. 277. |1 Sec. office deeds 38, p. 344. 
fib. patents 21, p. 407. lib. deeds 38, p. 352. 

X Not recorded. *♦ lb. deeds 33, p. 1Q5. 

4 Sec. office deeds 38, p. 350. ft Jeff. Co., deeds rec. Dec. I4th, 1824. 

Xt Olive conveyed, Oct. 15th, 1800, 8,000 acres to Henry Cheriot (sec. deedi 
38, p. 347), and C. to John Wilkes the same, Oct. 16th, 1800 (ib. p. 432). 
44 Jefferson Co. deeds, rec. Jane 18th, 1825. 

44 Macomb''^ Purchase. 

20th, 1817,* directed L., B., & M. to convey to Joseph Russell 
and John La Farge.' Le Roy and Bayard deeded to John, 
Henry, and Edmund Wilkes, 16,000 acres September 23d, 
1818,t and the latter to John La Farge, April 14th, 1823,t 
having received May 9th, 1818, from the Marquis de Cubieres, 
and wife, a power of attorney! for the purpose. Le Roy and 
Bayard conveyed 12,000 acres Nov. 23d, 1818, and§ to Russell 
and La Farge 8,000 acres Sep. 23d, 1818.§ Joseph Russell 
released his half of these 8,000 acres Dec. 12th, 1818.§ John 
Wilkes to Charles Wilkes Jan. 1st, 1818,|| sold 8,000 acres, and 
the latter the same to La Farge June 3d, 1825.|| By these con- 
veyances Mr. La Farge became the owner of the greater part 
of Penet Square; but he allowed the lands to be sold for taxes, 
and his claims were subsequently confirmed by a comptroller's 
deed, from Wm. L. Marcy, May 13th, 1828. 

On the 23d of Nov., 1819, Francis Depau bought fifteen 
lots (21 to 26, 41 to 45, 56 to 60), for $12,000,11 excepting 
parts sold to Samuel Ruggles. In our account of Orleans, will 
be given a detail of the irregularities growing out of occupation 
without title, and the conflicting claims which continued many 
years, and produced much difficulty. 

The whole of Macomb's contract was estimated to contain, 
after. deducting five per cent., 3,670,715 acres, and was divided 
into five tracts. Tract No. I contained 821,819 acres, and is 
wholly in Franklin County. No. II embraced 553,020 acres, or 
the present towns of Parishville, Colton, Hopkinton, Lawrence, 
Brasher, and a small part of Massena, in St. Lawrence County. 
No. Ill, the remainder of St. Lawrence County south and west 
of the ten towns, or 458,222 acres. No. IV contained 450,950 
acres in Jefferson County, it being, with the exception of Penet's 
Square and Tibbet's Point, all of that county north of a line 
drawn from the southwest corner of St Lawrence County, north 
8T west, to Lake Ontario. No. V (26,250 acres) and Na VI 
, (74,400 acres) formed the rest of the purchase; the division line 
between which numbers was never surveyed. Soon after per- 
fecting his title to a portion of his tract, Macomb employed 
William Constable (who is said to have been with Daniel 
McCormick the principal proprietor) as his agent to sell lands 
in Europe; and, on the 6th of June, 1792, ne released, and 
October 3d, 1792, conveyed to him the whole of tracts IV, V, 
and VI, for £bOfiO0.** Macomb had become involved in specu- 

• Jeff, deeds N. 477. f lb. rec. Oct. 6, 1819. 

tib. deedi, rec. Jane 23d, 1831. {j Jeff. Co. rec. June 18, 1825. 

Jib. rec. Oct. 23d, 1818. t Jeff. Co. deeds, N. 605. 

** Secretary's Office, Deeds 24, pp. 300 and 332, August 2, 1792. 

The Chassanis Purchase. 45 

latioDS, by which he lost his property, and was lodged in jail;* 
and his name does not subsequently appear in the transfers of 
laod. He had been a fur trader in Detroit, afterwards became 
a merchant and capitalist in New York, and was the father of 
the late General Macomb of the war of 1812. 

The first direct measure taken for the actual settlement of the 
section of the state embraced in Jefferson County, was in 1792. 
On the 31st of August, William Constable, then in Europe, 
executed a deed to Peter Chassanis, of Paris, for 630,000 acres 
south of Great Lot No. IV, which now constitutes a part of 
Jefferson and Lewis Counties. A tract in Leyden, previously 
oonveyed to Patrick Colquhoun and William Inman, was 
excepted. Chassanis acted as the ^^agentfor the associated pur- 
chasers of lands in Montgomery County," and the lands were to 
be by him held in trust for the use of the said William Constable; 
and disposed of by sections of one hundred acres each, at the rate 
of eight livres Tournoisf per acre; in which said conveyance it 
is declared, that the said Chassanis should account for the pro- 
ceeds of the sales to Constable, according to the terms of an 
agreement between them, excepting one-tenth thereof. The 
state reservations for roads, &c., were stipulated. A deed for 
625,000 acres having been made from Constable to Chassanis, 
and delivered as an escrow to Rene Lambot, to take effect oii the 
payment of JC62,000, it was agreed that the price for this land 
should be one shilling per acre. Constable bound himself to 
procure a perfect title, to be authenticated and deposited with 
the Consul General of France, in Philadelphia; and Chassanis 
agreed that the moneys received by Lambot should be remitted 
to Ransom, Morel and & Hammersley, in London, as received, 
subject to Constable's order, on presenting the certificate of 
Charles Texier, Consul, of his having procured a clear title. 
If the sales shall not have amounted to jC62,750, the balance 
should be paid in six, nine, and twelve months, in bills upon 
London. Constable granted, for one month, the right of pre- 
emption to Tract No. IV, at the rate of one shilling sterling, 
payable in three, six, and nine months from the date of the deed, 
as above. 

The plan of the association contemplated by^this company is 
set forth in the following document, which we translate from an 
original copy printed in Paris in 1792, in the possession of Hon. 
Wm. C. Pierrepont, who has kindly permitted it to be used for 
this work. It is very probable that the stormy period of the 
French revolution that soon followed prevented its execution: 

* See History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Countiei, p. S49. 
t Equal to $1*50. 

46 The Alew York or Chaasanis Company* 

. ^< Asa^pciATiov for thf purchase and seUUmerU q/* 600,000 acres of laruL 
granted by the State of JVew York, and situated mthin that state between the 
4Sd dig, and 44<A dig, of latitude, upon Lake Ontario, and 35 leagues from 
the cUy and port of Albany, where vessels land from Europe. 

Many details suggested by the consideration of the internal and ex- 
ternal advantages of this vast and rich domain, of which we have direct 
knowledge, has led to a plan of developing its resources, and of present- 
ing the speculation to Europeans. It is to be noticed tiiat this tract pre- 
sents in its fertility, all the wealth of agriculture; by the fine distribution 
of its waters, the facilities for an extended commerce; by its location in 
the immediate vicinity of a dense population, security to its inhabitants; 
and by the laws of a people independent and rich with their own capital, 
all the benefits of liberty without its drawbacks. These incontestible 
&cts, developed without art, and declared in a public notice, may be 
easily proved by simple inspection of the geography, and a general 
acqaintauce of the state of New York. Believing that the value of this 
vast domain would be enhanced by the activity of cultivation and senle- 
ment, the proprietors have united in attempting the formation of a family, 
in some way united by common interests and common wants; and to 
promote the success of this measure, they here offer an account of the 
origin, and plan of their association. I'o maintain this essential unity of 
interests, the projectors have devised a plan that renders each member 
directly interested in the property, and require that a division shall be 
made by lot, that shall give at once a title to fifty acres individually, and 
to fifty in a portion tnat shall remain common and undivided until a fixed 
period ; and that these subdivisions may operate in a ready and economical 
manner, they have adopted a form of certificate \formi (T Action], to the 
bearer, as best combining the desired features, and advantages of being 
evidences of the first title of purchase, and the undivided portion, and of 
partaking of the nature of an authentic title. In consequence, they have 
purchased this estate, and agreed tliat it should be done in the name of 
Hieur Chassanis, in whom they have united their coufideuce, and whom 
they have authorized to sign the certificates. He is to receive the funds 
to be credited to each, as tides of property, and furnish declarations to 
those who desired. Subsequent to the purchase, the parties interested 
have established the following rules, which shall be the common law of 
the holders of certificates, as inseparable from the title resulting. These 
rules are divided into two sections, the one including the articles essen- 
tial to title, and the unalterable law of the proprietors, the other embracing 
the provisional rules and regulations of the common interest. 

Section I. Article 1. The 600,000 acres of land which Peter Chassanis 
has purchased of Wm. Constable (in which are reserved five acres in each 
100), shall be subdivided iuto 6000 portions, including the fractional por- 

Art, 2. A direct title shall be given upon application by the holders of 
certificates, in their own name. 

Wrt. 3. These certificates shall be of the following form: 

Title of the associaton of the Actc York company, in the purchase q/* 600,000 
acres of land in Montgomery county, State of,Yew York: 

**The bearer of this certificate has paid the sum of ei^ht hundred hvres 
** which renders him the owner of a hundred acres in six hundred thou- 
^ sand acres which have been sold to us as representatives of the com- 
•*pany of Proprietors [Companie des Actionnaires], according to the pre- 
"sent contract, which requires us to pass the necessary titles of this por- 
**tion of the estate, in favor of the holder of this certificate, whenever he 
« may wish to receive it in his own name. The present certificate is for 

The New York or ChassanU Company. 47 

*^an iDtegral pMirt, and a fraction of the purchase above mentioned, hy 
** virtue of which, the bearer is entitled to all the rights of this associatioD, 
'^ of which the articles and rules are fixed by the terms of ag^ement 
* annexed to this common title. 

* This certificate bears the number . In evidence of which it 

" has been signed by myself, countersigned by the commissaries of the 
" company, and inspected by M. Lambot, notary." ' ^ 

Paris, this of 

These shall remain deposited in the hands of M. Lambot, Notaiy at 
Faris, who shall make the distribution after the inspection and signature, 
of which we shall speak hereafter. The price of a certificate, shall remain 
fixed at 800 livres, which shall be paid into the hands of M. Lambot. Of 
this sum one tenth part shall be placed at the disposal of the trustees, to 
defray the expenses of the concern, such as purchasing of tools, materials, 
provisions, the opening of roads, necessary fixtures, surveys, and explora- 
tioDB. The nine other tenths, shall belong to the seller, who shall convey, 
after the transfer has been duly made by Wm. Constable in America, a title 
with all the formalities reauired by the usages of tlie country. This remit- 
tance shall be made by the depository, directing the sums received to 
Messrs. Ransom, Moreland & (lammersley, bankers in London, in drafls 
upon that city ; which shall be. sent as received, without waiting the return 
of titles, but till that time that the said Wm. Constable shall not draw 
from the hands of the said bankers in London. 

wfrl 5. The 600,000 acres shall be divided into 12,000 lots of 50 acres 
each, of which six thousand shall be divided, and set apart in the begin- 
ning, for individual properties, and six other thousand shall belong to the 
company, who shall ultimately take measures for increasing its value, 
and for a divison after the manner hereinafter mentioned. 

•^HL 6. Each holder of certificates shall have one separate lot, and one 
in common and undivided stock. 

•^. 7. The 30,000 acres additional, resulting from the reservations in 
the above tract, shall be divided as follows: two thousand acres in the 
formation of a city, in the interior of the tract, on the banks of the great 
river that traverses the concession, 2000. 

Two thousand acres besides, to the founding of a second city, upon 
the banks of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the river upon which the first 
city shall be built to serve for a port and entrepot of commerce.. • 2000. 

Six thousand acres shall be divided among artisans, who shall be dis- 
tributed in the settlements, such as masons, carpenters, locksmiths, and 
joiners, to be charged to them after seven years, by paying a rent of 
twelve sous per acre 6000. 

The twenty thousand acres remaining shall be expended in the con- 
struction of roads and bridges, or disposed of as the society may 
direct. 20,000. 

^H. 8. The location of the two cities shall be divided into 14000 lots, 
of which 2000 shall be reserved for markets, and edifices, such as 
churches, schools, and other public establishments, and for poor artisans, 
who shall be desirous of locating there. The 12,000 remaining lots shall 
be divided into two classes, the one of separate and the other of undivided 
ownership. One lot of each class shall belong to each owner of certificates. 

ArL 9. The choice of divided lots, in the country as well as in the 
cities, shall belong to the holders of certificates, in the order of the dates 
of the presentation of their titles, by themselves or their authorized 
agents to the trustees of the company. 

Jhi. 10. The trustees of the company shall make upon the spot, before 
the term of seven years, a report of tlie property remaining in common , 

48 77le New York or Chasionis Company* 

and its condition; of the improvements of which it is susceptible, and 
an estimate of its value. After this report there shall be made a division 
into 6000 lots, which shall be designated on a plan. The trustees shall 
advertise three months in advance of drawing, which shall be done in a 

feneral assembly, by those only who shall have declared a fortnight 
efore the drawing, that they wished to take part in the same. Those 
who do not make this declaration, shall be deemed to have chosen the 
continuation and non-division of the common property. 

•M, 11. The holders of certificates, who remain in common, shall 
regulate in a general assembly their particular interests, as well for the 
care of lands which remain with them as for selling them, as they may 

Art. 12. After the drawing, the society shall no longer exist, except 
among such as do not take part in it ; the certificates shall be furnished to 
those entided, containing a title and adjudication of their lots. 

ArL 13. The a£&irs of the company shall be managed by trustees, 
living in Paris, three in number, and by at least two other trustees, resi- 
ding upon the tract. These different trustees shall be in regular corre- 
apondence, and shall be chosen bv an absolute majority of the general 
assembly. These meetings shall be held in Paris, and every owner may 
attend and assist by himself or by proxy. E^ch share shall entitle to 
one vote, yet no person shall have more than five votes, whatever the 
number of shares be may possess.' : 

Art. 14. All the articles aforesaid, are essential to the existence of 
certificates, and can he modified only in a general assembly, convened 
fuf hoc and by a majority of two thirds. 

Section IL Government, Article 1. Within one month, there shall 
be held a meeting of the subscribers, at the rooms of the said Sieur 
Chassanis, at Paris, No. 20, Rtte de la Jusneune, for the election of trustees. 

Art. 2. The trustees, residing in Paris, shall have thechorge of proving 
the certificates, with the depository, and of personally examining each, 
to ffuard against errors; the notary shall also compare them as received, 
and paid, af^er which they shall be signed by the said Sieur Chassanis, 
to be delivered to the shareholders. Consequently no certificate shall 
be issued until after these inspections and signatures, and the subscribers 
shall in the mean time only receive a provisional receipt of deposit. 

Art. 3. To guard against all errors in distribution, the certificates shall 
be registered by their numbers, by Sieur Chassanis, upon their present- 
ation by the holders, and the record kept in his office, and without this 
entry, of which notice shall be written upon the certificate by the said 
Sieur Chassanis, or by the one whom the trustees shall appoint for the 

Eurpose, no holder of certificates shall be admitted to the meetings, nor 
ave riffht to take his chance in the selection of his location. 
Art. 4. The trustees, designated for removal to America, shell be the 
bearers of the instructions, and of the general powers of the assembly; 
shall survey the land, decide upon the location of the two cities, and 
there prepare for the company, within three months from their arrival, a 
report of their examinations and labors, with a detailed plan of the com- 
mon property. 
ArL 5. trustees shall be chosen from among the holders of certificates. 
ArL 6. The trustees shall decide the location of the fifly acres which 
■hall belong originally to each certificate, after which the holders shall 
have the right of choice. 

Art. 7. The locations shall be marked upon two registers, in the hands 
of the trustees in America, who shall retain one and transmit the other 
annually to the general assembly in France. 

Chastanit Tract — Surveys. 48 

At. & The titles directed to be delivered to the holders of certificates, 
who make known their wish, shall contain a declaration hy Sieur Chas- 
■Biiis, that in his general purchase, there belongs a certain portion to *** 
as his own, in accordance with a common title, and a social regulation 
of which he is a party; this declaration shall bear the number of the 
oertificate, which shall remain attached, under pain of forfeiture of the 
action, even though the certificate had been previously canceled, and this 
title shall not be complete till after the registration of the trustees to 
whom it shall be presented. 

Ai. 9. The trustees in America, shall be clothed with a similar power 
by Sieur Chassanis, for granting like titles to those who require it. This 
power shall be granted afler a model of the declaration, for the purpose 
of securing uniformity of registiy. 

JkL 10. All decisions and acts of the company done in France, as 
relates to trustees, have no need of public formality when they are legal- 
ly by the minister or other public functionary of the United States, 
residing in France. 

Art 11« There shall be delivered, upon demand, a duplicate of tide to 
the holders of certi6cates, containing a copy of the original, and in it 
ihaJl be mentioned that it is a duplicate." 

The agreement of Constable and Chassanis, of August 30, 
1792, was canceled, and the tract reconveyed March 25, 1793, 
in consequence of the amount falling short, upon survey, far be- 
yond the expectation of all parties. On the 12th of April, 1793, 
Constable conveyed 210,000 acres, by deed, for je25,000, to 
Chassanis,* since known as The Chassanis Tracts Castorland^ 
or The French Company'^s Landf bounded north by No. IV of 
Macomb's Purchase, south and west by Black River, and east by 
a line running north, nine miles, from a point near the High 
Falls, and thence northeasterly on such a course as might include 
210,000 acres. 

On the 11th of April, 1797, Chassanis appointed Rodolph 
Tillier, "member of the sovereign counsel of Berne," his attorney, 
*^to direct and administer the properties and affairs concerning Cas- 
torland, to follow all which relates to the surveying and subdividing 
of this domain, as well as to its improvement, clearing, and 
amelioration; to make the useful establishments; make all bar- 
gains with settlers, artists, and workmen; make all payments' 
and receipts; give and take receipts; pass all title of property, 
to the profit oi those who will have acquired lands forming part 
of Castorland; to put, or have them put in possession of the said 
lands; sell of these lands to the amount of ten thousand acres, 
either paid down for, or on credit, but in small parcels of a hun- 
dred or two hundred acres at most." In case of death, Nicholas 
Olive was to succeed him. On the 18th of February, 1797, a 
new agreement was made between Constable and Tillier, con- 
veying the Castorland tract to Chassanis, after the survey of 
William Cockbum & Son, of Poughkeepsie, in 1799, and giving 

* OiMid* Bwds, 3, M. 

50 Surveys — Incident. 

with greater detail the bounds of the tract. The former convey- 
ances made the north and east bank of the river the boundary, 
but in this the centre of the channel was agreed upon.* On the 
6th of March, 1800, Constable deeded to Chassanis, for one dol- 
lar, a tract of 30,000 acres in the eastern corner of Tract No. 
rV, which was afterwards subdivided into twenty-seven lots, and 
conveyed to James Le Ray.f Cockburn's survey divided the 
purchase into six very unequal tracts, formed by the intersec- 
tion of the principal lines and the river. The tract was subdi- 
vided by Charles C. Brodhead and assistants, in 1794. John 
Cantine, Philip R. Freys, Peter Pharoux, and Benoni Newman, 
were among his surveyors. In dividing the tract, the line run- 
ning north i'rom the High Falls was assumed as the cardinal line^ 
from which ranges were counted east and west. An east and 
west line, crossing the other nine miles from the Falls, was fixed 
as a second cardinal, from which ranges were reckoned north and 
south. The ranges extended to nineteen east, fifty-one west, 
twenty-seven north, and about nine south; and the lots included 
450 acres each, except those on the margin. These were again 
subdivided into nine square lots, of fifty acres each, which were 
numbered from 1 to 4,828. This system of numbering has since 
been observed in designating the location of lands. 

Mr. Brodhead was a native of Pennsylvania, and had held the 
rank of captain in the Revolution. He was employed by Tillier, 
through the influence of Edward Livingston and l5r. Oliver, and 
while performing the survey, encountered many hardships. An 
obituary notice published soon after his death, which occurred 
within the last year, at Utica, contains the following: 

^ In running the great lines of division his party had crossed the Black 
River several times, the men and instruments being ferried across. On 
one occasion when they had approached the river, having journeyed 
through the woods without noting their route by the compass, they arrived 
at a part of the bank which they recognized, and knew to be a safe place 
of passing. Making a raft of logs, they started from the bank, and began 
to pole across. When in the midst of the current their poles failed to 
reach the bottom, and simultaneous with this discovery, the noise of the 
waters below them revealed the horrid fact that they had mistaken their 
ferrying place, aud were at the head and rapidly approaching the Great 
Falls of the river, the passage of which threatened all but certain death. 
Instantly Mr. B. ordered every man who could swim to make for the 
shore, and he prepared to swim for his own life. But the piteus appeals 
of Mr. Pharoux, a young Frenchmaan, of the party, who could not swim, 
arrested him, and he determined to remain with him to assist him, if 
possible in the awful passage of the falls. Hastily directing his men to 
grasp firmly to the logs of the raft, giving similar directions to Mr. Pha- 
roux, he then laid himself down by the side of his friend. The raft 
passed the dreadful tails and was dashed to pieces. Mr. Pharoux with 

* Oneida Deeds, 4, 279. t Oneida Deeds, Q, p. 524, 

Original Surveys. 51 

sevenl of the whites and Indians was drowned, and Mr. Brodhead him- 
self thrown into an eddy near the shore, whence he was drawn senseless 
by an Indian of the party."* 

The surveyors were in their instructions directed to note " all 
kinds of timber, wild meadows, useful plants, wild fruit trees, 
hills, swamps, creeks and objects of interest generally." The 
south line of Tract No. IV, was run by John Campbell and others, 
in Aueust, 1794. At a very early period, a settlement was begun 
hy Tillier and others near the High Falls, east of the river, and 
several families were settled. Several extensive sales were made 
by Chassanis, and Tillier to Frenchmen of the better class, who 
bad held properly and titles in France before the revolution. 
Desjardine & Co. bought 3002 acres on Point Peninsula; Odier 
k Bousquet, 1500 acres on Pillar Point; Nicholas Olive (Dec. 
17, 1207f ) a tract of 4050 acres north of Black River and Bay; 
Henry Boutin, 1000 acres around the present village of Carthage;f 
C. C. Brodhead, 400 acres in the presnt town of Wilna,§ and 
others. Among these were a conveyance dated March 31, 1801, 
of 1,817 half acres in scattered lots to twenty or thirty French 
people,|| many of them widows of persons who had acquired an 
interest in the New York Company. On the 1st of May, 1798, 
James Le.Ray purchased 10,000 acres in Cortland,!! and Feb. 
15, 1801, all his lands not previously sold.** Chassanis in his 
early sales had reserved about 600 acres (K. 26 W. 24 and 25 N.). 
between the present villages of Brownville and Dexter, for the 
City of Basle. The appendix of a workff printed in Paris in 
1801, contains a letter relating to this company which must have 
been written by one familiar with the country. The work from 
which we translate, purports to have been made from an English 
manuscript cast ashore on the coast of Denmark from the wreck 
of the ship Morning Star, and from its romantic style it scarcely 
merits notice in history. The letter is dated Sept. 4, 1800, and 
is as follows; 

* The body of this yotini^ man was afterwards found on a small island at the 
mouth of the river to which bis name was given. Mr. J . Le Ray caused 
to be prepared a marble tablet to be inserted in the rocks here, with the follow- 
ing inscription; 

'* To the memory of PETER PHAROUX, this Island is Consecrated." 

tFor 1,780*49. Ranges N. 27, W. 42, 43, and part of 44, since called the 
(Hwt Tract, Sec. Office Rec, July 16, 1813, C. to Tillier. 

I April 2, 1798, 500 acres for £1000, and Dec. 18 1798, 500 acres. Oneida 
Deeds, A. 2, p. 132. 

i lb. Deeds A. p. 10, sold Oct. 26, 1797. 

H Oneida Deeds, 11, 233. 

1 lb. Deeda F. 249. 

♦♦Jeff. Deeds C. p. 378. 

ft Voyage dans la haute Pennsylvanie, et dans I'ctat de New York, par un 
membre adoptif de la nation Oneida. Traduit et public par Tauteur des 
Lettret d^an Caltivateor Americain, 3 vols. 12mo. 

52 Account of the French Settlement. 

*< This northern part of the state of New York, wfaicli contains the 
three great districts, known as Richlaiid, Katarkouy, and Castorland, 
is bounded on the north by the River St. Lawrence, on the west by the 
Ontario, on the east by the counties of Washington and Clinton, and 
Lake Champlain, and on the south by the new cantons of Oswego, Onon- 
daga, and Herkimer, is traversed nearly its entire length by Black River, 
which has 45 to 50 miles of navigation to its falls, situated a short dis- 
tance from its mouth, in the bay of Niahour^, on Lake Ontario. This 
river receives in its cx)urse many considerable streams and creeks, 
abounding in hydraulic privileges. This region is very favorably situated 
for access. On the one side it communicates with Canada by the St. 
Lawrence, with the English establishment upon the right bank of the 
river, as well as those from Kingston, in the bay of Katarokouy, on the 
other with Lake Ontario, by the bays of Niahour^, and Cat Fish, and 
lastly with the Mohawk Country, by a route just opened by Richland, 
Rome, and Castorville. They have surveyed another from the chief place, 
(Castorville ?) the first navigable waters of the Osw^gatch^e, at the con- 
fluence of which with the St. Lawrence, Major Ford has founded a 
considerable establishment. Long Lake, the waters of which are nearly 
parallel with the Great River, offers another rouce to those who wish to 
go to Ford'sbourg and Lower Canada. With the exception of the mount- 
ains, the soil is deep and fertile, as may be judged by the height and 
variety of the trees that compose the forest. The country, which borders 
the river from our Katarakouy to the line which sep:irates us from Canada, 
(the 45th parallel) al)Ounds in oak, a timber the more precious, as it is 
rare and valuable at Montreal and Quebec. In other sections we see a 
mixture of elms, button wood, sugar maple, butternut, hickory, beech, 
water ash, and basswood. We also nnd hemlock, white pine, and ditTerent 
kinds of spruce, wild cherry, and red',and white cedar. From the boughs 
of the spruce is made that beer so praised by Capt. Cook, and known to be 
the best of anti scorbutics. The sugar maple is so common in some 
sections as to form a third of the trees. Not only do we derive from 
thence all the sugar we need, but vinegar also of an excellent quality. 
As id the case in all northern countries this is filled with woody marshes 
and natural meadows, in which pasturage is had in summer, and forage 
for winter. We find in many places limestone, clay, and ore of iron, 
very ductile, but we are still too young to think of building a furnace or 
large forges. It will not be so in ten years ; it is probable we shall then 
be in a condition to furnish to the inhabitants of Upper Canada, who, not 
having contracts to assure them the possession of their lands, can not 
think of engaffing in such enterprises. We already begin to cultivate 
com, wheat nax, and even hemp, since it had been observed to what 
height it grows on land, formerly flowed by beaver dams ; but it being 
only the fourth year of our settlement, the details of our progress can not 
be very interesting. 

An event, as untbrtunate as unexpected, has much hindered the pros- 
perity of this coloby. The death of a young man of much talent, whom 
the Castorland Company had sent from l^aris, to render a wild and 
hitherto unknown country fit to favor the reunion of a new born society, 
to divide the lands, open roads, begin the first labors, built bridges and 
mills, and invent machines, where man is so rare. A uctim of his zeal, 
in taking the level of a bend of the river, he perished in trying to cross 
above the great falls. His comrades, so unfortunate as not to be able to 
assist him, have collected the details of this disastrous event in a paper, 
which I have been unable to read without emotions, and which I send. 

Our rivers abound in fish, and our brooka in trout I hara lean two 

Account of the French Settlement. 53 

meD take 72 id a day. Of all the coloDies of beavers, which inhabited 
thk country and raised so many dams, only a few scattering families 
remain. Vve have destroyed these communities, images of happiness, 
io whose midst reigned the most perfect order, peace, and wisdom, fore- 
light and industry. Wolves, more cunning and warlike than the former, 
live at our expense and as yet escape our deadly lead. It is the same with 
the original elk. It is only seen in this part of the state, for our hunters 
will soon make it disappear, for, you know, that, wherever man esta- 
blishes himself this tyrant must reign alone. Among the birds we have 
t^B pheasant, drumming partridge, wild pigeon, different kinds of ducks, 
geese, and wild turkey, &c. Our chief place, situated on the banks of the 
pretty Beaver River, and from thence so appropriately named CastorvUle^ 
oegins to grow. It is still only, as you may justly think, but a cluster of 
primitive dwellmgs, but still it contains several families of mechanics, of 
which new colonies have so frequent need. Several stores, situated in 
favorable places, begin to have business. The Canadians, on the right 
bank of the river, come thither to buy the goods which they need, as 
well as su^jr and rum, which, from the duties being less at our ports 
than at Quebec, are cheaper with us than with them. The vicinity of 
these French settlements are very useful to us, in many respects. Cattle 
are cheaper than with us, as well as manual labor. Such are the causes 
of communication between the inhabitants of the two sides, that it is 
imposaiUe for the English government to prevent it. 

Our colonists are, like others, a mixture of many nations; we have 
some, families of Scotch and Irish, but the greater number come from 
the northern states, which, as you know, is the ^officina humani generu^ 
of this continent Many of the settlers have already made considerable 
improvements. One of these families from Philadelphia, besides a hun- 
dred acres well enclosed, has begun a manufacture of potash, where the 
ashes of the neighborhood are leached ; another of the Quaker sect has 
settled on f he route to Kingston, where he has already built a saw mill, 
and a considerable manufactory of maple sugar, where he made last year 
about 16 quintals. The head of this family is a model of intelligence 
and industry; the goods which he brought, easily procured him much 
labor at a good rate. He paid twelve dollars per acre for clearing his 
lan^ and half the ashes;* besides this he furnished to the potash 
makers the great iron chaldrons and hand labor, and retains half of the 
salts, the value of which, with the first crop of wheat, pays and more 
aU the expenses of clearing, fencing, and harvesting. The average yield 
per acre, being 24 to 28 bushels, and the price of wheat 6 to 8 shillings. 
It is easy to see that there is still a margin to cover accidents, and that 
the second crop is clear profit Among these families we have some, 
who, driven fix>m their country, by fear and tyranny, have sought in this 
an asylum of peace and hberty, rather than wealth, and at least of security 
and of sweet repose. One of these, established on the banks of Rose 
Creek, came firom St Domingo, where he owned a considerable plantation, 
and has evinced a degree of perseverance, worthy of admiration. One 
of the proprietorsf has a daughter, as interesting by her figure as by her 
industry, who adds at the same time to the economy of the household, 
the charms or rather the happiness of their life. Another yet is an officer, 
of cultivated mind, sprightly, and origin; who, born in the burning 
elimate of India, here his health is strengthened. He superintends the 

* An acre commonly yields 200 bushels of ashes, which are worth 8 ctots 
the bashel. 
t Sl Mitchal' His daughter married MarssUe, and aftarwards De Zotelle. 

54 Account of the French Settlement. 

clearing of a tract of 1200 acres, which two sisters, French ladies, have 
entrusted to him, and to which he has given the name of Sister's Grove. 
He has already cleared more than 100 acres, erected a durable house, 
and enclosed a garden, in which he labors with assiduity, truly edifying. 
He has two Canadians, of whom their ancestors were originally from the 
same province with himself. Far from his country, the most trifling 
events become at times a cause of fellow feeling, of which those who 
have never felt it, can have no idea. As for cattle, those raised that only 
bring $9 a pair, nt the end of the year, are worth $70 when they are four 
yearaold. Fat cattle, which commonly weigh 7 to 900 lbs., sell at therate 
of $5 per hunrired. Swine living almost always in the woods,' the settler 
can have as many as he can fatten in the fall. It should not be omitted 
to give them from time to time an ear of corn each, to attach them to the 
clearing, and prevent them from becoming wild, for then there is no 
mastering their wills, for they pining for their wandering life will not 
fatten on whatever is given them. Butter is as dear with us as in old 
settled countries, and sells for a shilling a pound. We have no fear, 
as some think, that the vicinity of the Canadian establishments will 
withdraw our settlers. The lands in Canada are all in the hands of 
jGrovernment of the Seigneurs. Both give gratuitously, I admit, but they 
give no titles,* from whence numerous difficulties arise in selling and 
transferring. Besides they are burdened with a considerable quit rent, 
the fees of transfer and removal, of escheats to the domain in default of 
heirs, of bnnalU6,\ tithes, or reservations for religion, and reserves of 
mines, and oak timber, restrictions, unknown in the United States, 
where the lands are franchises and freeholds. It is therefore probable, 
that sensible settlers will always prefer to so precarious an advantage, a 
sure possession which can be transferred without fees or formalities. 

This country being bounded by the St Lawrence and the Ontario, its 
population will increase more rapidly than that where men can spread 
themselves ad infinitum, as in certain districts of Pennsylvania, u(>on 
tjie Ohio, Wabash, &c. What is here called the American Katarokouy, 
or I, II, III and IV of Macomb's great purchase, will always be the 
last stage, the Ultima 7^u/e, of this part of the state of New York, and 
we ourselves, the last but one round of the ladder. On this account, 
lands, which in 1792 were valued at from $2 to $3 per acre, have now 
become from $3 to $4. 

The banks of our great river are not the only ones where our popula- 
tion tends. {Already those of Swan's Creek begin to fill up. Were it not 
for the death of Mr. P. we should have been much more advanced, for 
it was necessary to await the arrival of another engineer to complete the 
great surveys and subdivisions. Our winters are cold, but less than 
those of New Hampshire, and the snows of this climate are beneficial 
in preventing the frost from injuring our grass and wheat. It is truly 
wonderful to see with what rapidity vegetation is developed a few days 
after the snows are melted. I have placed your habitation not far from 
the great falls, but far enough distant not to be incommoded by the 
noise, or rather uproar, which they make in falling three different stages. 
The picturesque view of the chain of rocks over which the waters 
plunge their tumultuous commotion, the natural meadows in the vicinity, 
the noble forests which bound the horizon ; the establishments on the 
opposite bank; the passage of travellers who arrive at the ferry I have 
formed, ijl contribute to render the location very interesting, and it will 

* This applies only to Lower Canada. 

t The right of obUginga vassal to bake in one^s oven and grind at his mill. 

Survey of Great Tract No. IV. 65 

become more bo when cultiTation, industry, and time, shall have embel- 
isbed this district, still so rustic and wild, and so far from resembling 
the groves of Thessalia. The house is solid and commodious, the 
garden and farm yards well enclosed. 

I have placed a French family over the store and am well pleased with 
them. I think, however, they will return to France where the new 
government has at length banished injustice, violence and crime, and 
replaced them by the reigi^ of reason, clemency and law. The fishery of 
the great lake (Ontario) in which I am concerned, furnishes me an 
abundance of shad,* salmon, and herring, and more than I want. What 
more can I say? I want nothing but hands. You who live in a country 
where there are so many useless hands and whose labors are so little 
prod active there, why don't you send as some hundreds of those men ? 
The void they would occasion would be imperceptible ; here they would 
fill spaces that need to be animated and enlivened by their presence. 
What conquest would they not achieve in ten years! and what a differ- 
ence In their lot! Soon they would become freeholders and respectable 
beads of families. The other day a young Frenchman, my neighbor 
seven miles distant, and established some years upon the hank of the 
river, said to me : "If it is happy to enjoy repose, the fruit of one's 
labors ted of ease after having escaped the perils of the revolution, how 
much more so to have a partner of these enjoyments? I am expecting 
a friend, a brother; it is one of those blessings which nature alone can 
bestow. What pleasure shall I not enjoy in poinfing out to him the 
traces of my first labors and in making him count the successive epochs 
of their progress and the stages of my prosperity! but above all to prove 
to him that his memory has been ever present to me. The objects 
which surround me I will tell him are witnesses to the truth of this: 
this hill upon the right, covered with sombre pines, is designated upon 
my map under the name of HippolUts Absence, the creek which tra- 
verses my meadow under that of Brothers Creek, the old oak which I 
have left standing at the forks of the two roads, one of which leads to 
my house and the other to the river Union Creek,\ the place of my 
house Blooming Slope^ Soon he will arrive from St. Domingo, where 
Toussant L'Ouverture has allowed him to collect some wreck of our 

On the 27th of March 1800, Tillier was succeeded in the 
agency by Gouverneur Morris who appointed Richard Coxe, 
Nov. 13th, 1801, his attorney. On the 5th of Feb. 1802, Chas- 
sanis executed a trust conveyance for $1 to James D. LeRay oi 
220,500 acres as surveyed by Wm. Cockburn and Son, and by 
other instruments for nominal sums.| The lands were mostly sold 
to actual settlers by Mr. LeRay as agent or principal but the 
details would be unintelligible without a map. Chassanis died 
in Paris Nov. 28, 1803. David B. Ogden, G. Morris^ and many 
others were at an early period concerned in these titles. 

Macomb's Tract No. IV was surveyed by C. C Brodhead in 
1796, assisted by Jonas Smith, Timothy Wheelor, Joshua Nor- 
throp, Elias Marvin, John Young, Isaac Le Fever, Jocob Cham- 

• White Fish? F. B. H. 

t An apparent omissioa in the original MSS. F. B. H. 

X Oneida Deeds 9. 517 to 525. 4 Jeff. R. 253. 

56 The Antwerp Company' m Purchase. 

bers« Elijah Blake, Samuel Tupper, Eliakim HammoDd, and 
Abraham B. Smede, each with a few men as assistants, and the 
whole having a general camp or rendezvous at Hungry Bay, on 
the north side of Pillar Point at a place called Peck's Cove near 
where the Chassanis line crosses the bay. The early settlers here 
found huts standing, and the remains of an old oven are still 
visible. The journals of these surveyors, show that they suffered 
much from sickness. Some of their supplies were derived from 
Canada, but the most from the Mohawk settlements. A few 
troops were stationed on Carlton Island, and thither some of their 
sick were sent. This tract, excepting the east corner conveyed 
to Chassanis, was divided into 1000 lots of 440 acres each (ex- 
cepting those around the border), which were numbered continu- 
ously. Evert Van Allen, had been employed in 1795, in survey- 
ing the boundaries of tract No. IV. 

A proposition was entertained from Lord Poultney, in 1792, 
for the purchase of a million of acres of Black River land, at a 
quarter of a dollar per acre, of which JS5000 were to be paid 
down, JC20,000 in one, and the same in two years, and the re- 
mainder as soon as the surveys were made. Constable was to 
guaranty against claims from the native Indians, and all other 
parties, and to give immediate possession. The location was to 
be determined by Col. Wm. Stephens Smith of Ne>y York. This 
bargain failed, and Poultney afterwards became largely concern- 
ed in lands in the Genesee Country. On the 3d of October, 
1792, Jane, the wife of A. Macomb, released her right to the 
lands previously conveyed.* On the 12th of April, 1793, Con- 
stable sold in London, with the consent of Chassanis, who had 
previously held a preemption claim, to Charles Michael De 
Wolf of the city of Antwerp, tract No. IV, for 300,000 florins, 
money of exchange,! and in June following, of the same year, 
De Wolf succeeded in negotiating his purchase at a great ad- 
vance, viz: for 680,000 florins, to a company 6f large and 
small capitalists, of the city of Antwerp, who subscribed to the 
stock in shares of 1000 florins each, and organized under the 
name of the Antwerp Company. The stock was divided 
into 680 shares. Like most other operations of foreigners in a 
distant country, this company eventually proved unsuccessful, 
and a loss to the stockholders. Gouverneur Morris became 
their first agent in America, and on the 2d of January, 1800, a 
deed of half the tract, or 220,000 acres,J passed to him from 
Constable on account of the company, for $48,889, and on the 
day following the other half, of equal extent, for $46,315*12 to 

• See Office Deeds 39, p. 332. f Equal to $125,3M. 

I Oneida Office Deeds 7, p 612. 

Conveyances by Le Ray. 57 

James Donatianus Le Ray de Chaumont. Tract No. IV was 
found by Van Allen's survey, to contain 450,000 acres, including 
the state reservations. A former deed from Constable to De 
Wolf, was canceled upon the new one's being made. The 
diyision line between Morris's and Le Ray's conveyances com- 
menced at the N. E. corner of Penet's Square, and run on a line 
parallel with the county line, to the south line of No. IV. Mor- 
ris took all N. E. of this, and Le Ray the remainder. August 
15tb, 1802, a new division line* was agreed upon, commencing 
near the S. E. corner of Penet's Square, running thence to the S. 
comer of lot 512, thence to the W. corner of the present town 
of Antwerp, and along the S. W. line of that town to the S. 
comer of lot 337, and thence to the S. line of No. IV. A tract 
of 30,000 acres in the E. corner of No. IV was not included in 
these conveyances having been sold to Chassanis. In 1809, 
Morris retired from the business, his expenses and commissions 
absorbing 26,840 acres of land. On the 23d of December, 
1804, he had sold for $62,000 to Lewis R. Morris, 49,280 acres 
in the present town of Antwerp.f Mr. Morris subsequently con- 
Teyed 41 lots to Silvinus Hoard in the western part of Antwerp,{ 
ac^oining Theresa, and since known as the Cooper Tract. 
Abraham Cooper, from Trenton, N. Y., became interested in 
this tract in 1817.§ The remainder of Antwerp, excepting 
three ranges of lots on the S. E. side, was purchased of Morris, 
by David Parish, in 1808. The tract amounted to 29,033 acres, 
and has been settled under agents of the Parish estate. Moss 
Kent succeeded as agent of the Antwerp Company, and June 
15th, 1809, the remainder of their unsold lands, 143,440 acres,|| 
were conveyed to him. He was soon succeeded by Mr. Le Ray, 
and September 17th, 1810, the company sold to him for 145,000 
florins, money of exchange, all their interests in lands in 
America. The lands with Moss Kent were reconveyed to Le 
Ray, June 24th, 1817,1[ except 3250 acres sold to Wm. H. 
Harrison and T. L. Ogden in Lewis Co., December 16th, 1811. 
Mr. Le Ray is said to have been the owner of 126 shares in 
the Antwerp Company, and G. Morris of 26. The former having 
acquired a title to No. IV, and the Chassanis tract, removed to 
Le Raysville, where he opened a land office and proceeded to 
sell land to actual settlers, to a very large extent. He also 
effected with several Europeans, sales of considerable tracts, 
among whom were to Louis Augustin De Caulincourt, due de 

* Oneida deeds b. 10, p. 464. Jefferson deeds A, p. 358. 
t Jefferson deeds C, p. 63. | lb. L, 153. ^ lb. L, G8. 
li Coooprisin^ 3 ranges of lots (ex. 772) on E. side of Antwerp, and aU tbe 
eompany^s land in Diana. Jefferson deeds, rec. Nov. 1, 1809. 
Y Jeffenon deeds, rec. Aug. 13, 1817. 


58 Purchase of Count SurviUiers. 

Vincencey October Sth, 1805, a tract of 4,840 %CTes near Mil- 
]en*s Bay, being 1 1 lols which were conveyed January 28tb, 
1825, to Peter Francis Real, known as Count Real, chief of 
police under Napoien; to Emanuel Count De Grouchy, to 
General Desfurneaux and to others, considerable tracts. Several 
citizens of New York became afterwards concerned in these 
tracis, on their own account, or as agents, and extensive convey- 
ances were made; but as many of these were trusts not expressed, 
and referred to considerations not explained in the instruments 
of conveyance, or on recoid, an intelligent history of them can 
not be at this time obtained, with sufficient conciseness for pub- 
lication, should they be deemed of sufficient general interest. 
Among the lands conveyed were the following: 

To W'illiam and Gerardus Post, June 3d, 1825, for |17,000, 
11,880 acres (with 3503 acres excepted) in the present towns of 
Wilna and Diana;* 6,500 acres were conveyed by one, and the 
ex'rs of the other of these, to T. S. Hammond of Carthage, Oct 
2, 1837, by two deeds for $l8,000.t To Herman Le Roy, and 
Wra. Bayard, for $50,000, February 9, 1820, the interest of J. 
Le Ray, in numerous contracts to settlers on Great Tract No. IV.J 

To Francis Depau for $23,280, and, $15,000 by two con- 
veyances, a large tract in Alexandria, adjoining St. Lawrence 
County ,§ now held by L. J. Goodale of Watertown. 

To Cornelia Juhel, October 9th, 1821, numerous lots,1I and 
to many others, which without a map w^ould be unintelligible. 

In 1818, Joseph Bonaparte, who in the United States assumed 
the title of Count de SurviUiers, was induced to enter into a 
bargain with Le Ray, by which he agreed to receive in trust, 
with a warranty, the conveyance of 150,000 acres of land, in- 
cluding 74,624 acres of the Antwerp Company lands, to be 
taken in the most remote and unsettled portions, and at the same 
time Mr. Le Ray received certain diamonds and real estate, the 
whole rated at $120,000, and to be refunded in 1830, unless he 
should agree to accept before that time, the title of a part of 
these lands. A trust deed, with covenant and warranty, was 
accordingly passed, December 21, 1818, to Peter S. Duponceau,|| 
the confidential agent of the count, for 150,260 acres with the 
exception of such tracts not exceeding 32,260 acres as might have 
been conveyed or contracted to actual settlers. This deed in- 
cluded the greater part of Diana, tw^o tiers of lots from the S. E. 
side of Antwerp, the whole of Wilna and Philadelphia, a small 
piece south of Black River, where it makes a node across the 

* Jefferson deeds, X. 108. t lb. B. 3, p. 311. 

t lb. 0. p. 37. $ lb. O. p. 209, 211. 

U Jeff, mortgages A, 626, deeds N, p. 1. ^ lb. Q. p. 383. 

Conveyances by'Le Ray. 59 

Chassanis line into No. IV, a tract of four lots w*ide and seven 
long from Le Ray, and nine lots from the easterly range in 
Theresa. It wbs recorded with a defeasance appended, in which 
it is declared a security for $120,000 as above stated, and it 

Srovided for an auction sale of lands, to meet this obligation* 
Kamonds having fallen to half their former price, the fact was 
made a subject of complaint; and in 1820, the count agreed to 
accept 26,840 acres for the nominal sum of $40,260. These lands 
lay in the most remote portion of No. IV, and Mr. Le Ray, in a 
letter to one of the Antwerp Company, dated April 9th, 1821, 
complimented the count upon his taste in selecting a ^^ tract 
abounding with picturesque landscapes, whose remote and ex- 
tensive forests, affording retreat to game, would enable him to 
establish a great hunting ground; qualities of soil, and fitness 
for settlers were only secondary considerations. * * * He regrets 
notwithstanding that thus far he has been unable to find among 
the 26,000 acres of land, a plateau of 200 acres of land to build 
hia house upon, but he intends keeping up his researches this 
summer.'' The count subsequently commenced an establishment 
near the present village of Alpina in Diana, where a small 
clearing was made, but this was soon abandoned. 

On the 29th of October 1823, Lc Ray conveyed to Wm. H. 
Harrison, in trust for the Antwerp Company, for $50,000, two 
ranges oflots in Antwerp next to Lewis County, subject tothe mort- 

Bige to Duponceau with a large amount of lands in Lewis County. 
eanwhile an act was procured Nov. 27 1824, allowing Charles 
Joseph Xavier Knyff, Charles Joseph Geelhand Deiafaille, Jean 
Joseph Reinier Osy, Pierre Joseph De Caters, and Jean Joseph 
PinsoHy as trustees of the Antwerp Company, to take and hold 
lands, and to them Harrison conveyed the above tracts. Du- 
ponceau and Bonaparte subsequently released a large tract,f 
and took a title pf 81,180 acres.| The history of these trans- 
actions may be traced in the recorded conveyances.^ James Le 
Ray, on the 31st of Dec. 1823,|| conveyed to his son Vincent, 
all his lands in Jefierson County, and by a similar conveyance, 
his lands in Lewis County,ir for the benefit of his creditors. 

Duponceau executed July 16, 1825, to Joseph Bonaparte, (who 
by an act of March 31 1826, had been empowered to hold lands), 
a deed of all the rights he had required in the above conveyances.** 
Bonaparte by an instrument dated July 14 1832, made Joseph 
Rapbineau his attorney, to deed lands contracted by Joseph 

• Lewis clerk's office. t Jeff. Deeds, V, 434. June U2 1825. 

t Jeff. Deeds, W, 174, 4 lb recorded Nov. 7, 1845. 

B lb T, 305. t Lewis Co. Deeds rec. April 13, 1824. 

M Jeff. Deeds, W, 181, Lewis Deeds, I, IG. 

60 Subsequent Sales in Tract IF. 

Boyer his land agent.* In June 1835, he sold to John La Farn,f 
for $80,000 all the interest of Count Survilliers, in lands in this, 
and Lewis Counties. 

It has been said with much probability, that Count Sunrillien 
hastened to dispose of this estate, that he might be the better 
prepared to take advantage of any fortune which the revolutions 
of Europe might turn up, and the political aspect of the 
continent at that time, apparently favored the hopes of the 
Bonaparte family who have but recently regained the scep- 
tre of France. The Count first urged the sale upon Judge Boyer, 
his agent, and came within a few thousand dollars of closing a 
bargain. Mr. La Farge, is said to have cleared a large profit 
in this purchase. 

In October 1824, the Antwerp Company appointed J. N. Rot- 
tiers, their agent, to receive and convey lands, and he was 
directed by parties interested in claims, to commence a prosecution 
against Le Ray, which was done. The extreme depression in 
ihe })rice of land and total stop of sales which followed the 
complelion of the Erie Canal and the opening of the westeJn 
stales to emigration, operated disastrously to all parties who had 
based their plans upon expectation of receipts from land sales; 
and notwithstanding the estates of Mr. Le Ray w^re both ex- 
tensive and valuable, he could not at that time encounter the 
combination of circumstances which bore so heavily upon all 
landholders throughout the northern counties, and he found him- 
self compelled to apply for the benefit of the insolvent act, and 
1o surrender his estates to his son, in trust for his creditors. As 
a justification of his course, he published for distribution among 
his foreign creditors a statement,! in which he vindicated in a 
satisfactory manner the course he had adopted, and set forth the 
kind and quantity of property at his disposal to meet his liabili- 
ties. He had at that time the following lands in this state: 
In Franklin county, 30,758 acres, valued at $22,500 
" St. Lawrence " 73,947 '' " 106,000 

'' Jeflferson " 143,500 " " 574,000 

" Lewis " 100,000 " " 133,000 

Of his Jeflferson lands, one-eighth were subject to contracts of 
settlers, upon which were three grist mills, three saw mills, 
and various clearings, with buildings. At Le Raysville, were a 
grist mill, store houses, &c., valued at $26,000, and in Pennsylva- 
nia,Otsego County, and in France other properties ol large amount. 
In closing up this business, a large amount of land was confirmed 

* Jeff. Deeds, rec. Feb.ll, 1833. 
t Jeff. Deeds U, 2, 43. 

i Acte de Transmission, par. M. Le Ray de Chaumont, i ion fill de tea 
propii6tes, jrc, 4to, Paris, pp. 70. 

LanJk Sauih of Black River. 61 

to Vincent Le Ray, and the settlement of the affairs was so man- 
aged as to satisfy'in full, the claims of American creditors. Our 
account of these transactions has been necessarily brief and im- 
perfect, yet the attention we have given it, has convinced us 
diat there is nothing in the matter but that will bear the closest 

A considerable amount of the Antwerp Company's lands, re- 
maining in scattered parcels, was sold in 1828, by the agent to 
John La Farge, but this sale was subsequently set aside by the 
coort of chancery,* and Feb. 15. 1836, 24,230 acres, being most 
of the remaining lands of the company, and situated in Theresa, 
Antwerp, Alexandria and Orleans, were sold to Samuel Stock- 
ing, of Utica, and Norris M. Woodruff, of Waterlown, for $1 
per acre.f Wm. H. Harrison acted in the latter sale as the agent 
of the company, and the tract has been nearly all sold off by Jason 
Clark, Esq., of Plessis, agent of the proprietors. 

Mr. La Farge, on the 28lh of July, 1846, sold to Chas. L. 
Faverger, for 1^,513, a tract embracing the two eastern ranges 
of lots in Antwerp, and 122 lots in Diana, excepting parts pre- 
viously conveyed, amounting to 48,513 acres,| and a great por- 
tion has since been sold in large and small tracts to settlers. 
There is at this time but a comparatively small part of Great 
Tract No. IV, in this county, but that is under cultivation, and 
held as freeholds by the occupants. Dr. John Binsse, of Pamelia, 
is the present agent of La Farge. 

Wm. Constable, on the 18th of Dec. 1792, conveyed to Samuel 
Ward, for jB 100,000, 1,280,000 acres, it being the whole of Ma- 
comb's Purchase, in Nos. V, and VI, out of which was except- 
ed 25fl00 acres sold to Wm. Inraan.'^ Samuel Ward, Dec. 20, 
1792, conveyed to Thomas Boylston (of Boston) for je20,000, a 
tract,^coromencing at the extreme southern angle of Lewis County 
as now bounded; runnine thence to the mouth of Salmon River, 
and along the Jake to Black River, and up that stream to the 
north bounds of the present town of Leyden, and thence to the 
place of beginningIT the course of Black River was then supposed 
to be nearly direct, from the High Falls to the lake, and this 
tract was believed to contain about 400,000 acres, but when sur- 
veyed around by Wm. Cockburn & Son, 1794, it was found to 
include 8 17, 155 acres! Ward also sold 210,000 acres to John Ju- 
lius Angerstein, a wealthy merchant of London, which, the latter 
afterwards sold to Gov. John Brown, of Providence, R. I., and 
which has since been commonly called Brown's Tracts and is yet 

* Paij^^s Chancery Reports, 1, p. 574, where a rehearal is declined, 
t Jefferson Deeds, Z 2, p, 455. } Jeff. Co. Deeds, 81. p. 532. 

f Sec. office Deeds 39, p. 6. IT lb. 39, p. 15. 

62 Titles South of Black River. 

mostly a wMlderness. He also sold 50,000, and 25,000 acres to 
Wm. Inman, who afterwards figured largely in tlie titles ofLewis 
County;* with the exception of the 685,000 acres thus conveyed, 
to Boy^ston, Angerstein, and Inoan, he reconveyed Feb, 27, 
1793, the remainder to Constahle.f 

On the 21st of May 1794, Boylston gave a deed of trust of 
eleven townships to George I^ee, George Irving, and Thomas 
Latham, assignees of the firm of Lane, Son and Fraser, of London, 
and they conveyed them (o John Johnson Phyn, of that place,| 
(June 2, 1794) in whom, by sundry conveyances and assurances 
in the law, the title became vested. On the lOth of April, 1795, 
Phyn appointed Wm. Constable his attorney, to sell and convey 
any or all of the Boylston Tract,§ who accordingly sold, July 15, 
1795 (at $1 per acre, one quarter paid down and the balance in 
five installments, with mortgage) to Nicholas Low, Wm. Hen- 
derson, Richard Harrison, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, a tract of 
300,000 acres, since known as the Black River Tract, This 
purchase comprised Houndsfield, Watertown, Rutland, Champion, 
Denmark, Henderson, Adams, Rodman, Pinckney, Harrisburgh, 
and Lowville. On the 1st of April, 1796, Phyn confirmed this 
title.|| The tract was found by measurement to contain 290,376 
acres, to make up which deficiency, Constable in 1796, conveyed 
town No. 2 (Worth) excepting 948 acres in the southeast corner, 
which he reserved to himself. On the last mentioned date, Phyn 
conveyed to Constable, 401,000 acres, being the remainder of 
the Boylston Tract. The present town of Lorraine is in this 

Wm. Constable gave to his brother James, a power of attorney 
to sell lands, March 16, 1798,11 and, to secure the confidence of 
Europeans, and others in the validity of his title, he procured from 
Alexander Hamilton, Richard Harrison, J. 0. Hoffman ( attorney 
general of the state) Daniel McKinnen, and other eminent lawyers, 
a certificate, that they had examined his conveyances, and believed 
them perfect. 

On the 22d of March, 1797,** Constable conveyed to Marvel 
Ellis of Troy, the town of Ellisburgh, in accordance with an 
agreement, daled April 11, 1796, except 3000 acres, conveyed 
March 17, 1797, to Robert Brown, and Thomas Eddy, in the 
southwest corner of the town.ff This tract was long without a 
resident agent, and from being settled by squatters, it acquired 
the unhallowed name of JVb God. In June 1804, Brown and 

* Inman was the father of Henry Inman the celebrated artist. 

t Sec. office Deeds 25, p. 208. J Sec. Office Deeds, 24, p. 35. 

$ lb. 39, p. 62. II lb. 36, 37, p. 214. 

t Sec. Office deeds, 41, p. 623. ** Herkimer deeds, rec. April 22. 1797. 

tt Oneida deeds, 7, p. 331. 

Tiae9 South of Black River. 63 

Eddy sold half of the tract to Geo. Scriba, and the latter to Wm. 
Bell. The remaiDder was exchanged for a farm in New Jersey, 
by Lord Bollingbroke. Ellis's Purchase, according to Medad 
Mitchell's survey of Aug. 1795, was 51,840 acres, but by a sub- ^ 
sequent survey of B. Wright, it covered 52,834 acres. A part of 
No. 10. f Sandy Creek) was conveyed Nov. 16, 1796, to Mrs. y 
H. M. Golden, for the Earl of Selkirk. Ellis, on the day of his 
purchase, mortgaged it for the payment,* and in 1801, he became 
insolvent In Jan. 1802, Constable tiled a bill in chancery, against 
EUb, and his creditors, to foreclose for equity of redemption. 
On the 22nd May, 1803, Wm. Constable died, and his executors, 
James Constable, John McVickar, and Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, 
were advised that the title was perfected by the answer to the 
bill in chancery, but, to put all questions forever at rest, they 
deemed it advisable to proceed, to foreclose. It was accordingly 
advertised, and sold, under the direction of Thomas Cooper, master 
in chancery, at the Tontine Coffee House, N. Y., March 1, 1804, 
to Daniel McCormick. On the 2nd day of March the executors 
of Constable, conveyed the town to McCormick,t and on the 3d, 
the latter reconveyed to the executors.! On the 26th of April 
1819, a deed of release,^ from the heirs of Wm. Constable, was 
executed to H. B. Pierrepont, from whom the title of the unsold 
portions passed to his son, Wm. C. Pierrepont, who has in like 
manner acquired the title of Lorraine from Constable. 

The eleven towns were divided by ballot between the com- 
pany ,|| August 5th, 1796; Harrison & Hoffman receiving 
numbers 1, 4, 5, 8, and 10,orHoundsfield, Champion, Denmark, 
Rodman, and Harrisburgh, and 1,283 acres of Constable^ 
No. 2 (Worth), which had been added to make up the amount 
purchased, and was used in '^ making change." Low received 
2, 7, and 11, or Watertown, Adams, and Lowville, with 1,576 
acres of the present town of Worth; and Henderson, 3, 6, and 
9, or Rutland, Henderson, and Pinckney, with 649 acres in 

These proprietors disposed of their towns as follows: No. 1 
was sold, the north half to Henry Champion and Lemuel Storrs, 
June 30lh, 1797,11 and the south part (15,913 acres) to Peter 
Kemble and Ezra Houndsfield, for $4,000, March 10th, 1801, 
who have sold the most to actual settlers, through the agency 
of E. Camp. The sales of the north part will be given in our 
account of that town. Nos. 2, 7, and 11 were sold by S. Stow, 
M. S. Miller, and I. W. Bostwick, of Lowville, agents for Low. 
No. 3 was first partly conveyed to actual settlers by Asher Miller, 

^ • Herk. B. p. 254. T Oneida dewls, E, 490. 

1 1 Oneida deeds, E. 492. 4 Jefferson deeds, U, 45. 

i Sec. deed* 28, p. 504. IT Oaeida deeds, A, 35. 

64 Titles South of Black River. 

and Abel French; when the remaining interest of Henderson 
was conveyed to Dr. Isaac Bronson, of Greenfield, Ct., who gave 
its agency to his brother Ethel Bronson, with whom it continued 
till death, when it was transferred to George White, who com- 
pleted the settlements with settlers. No. 4 was sold to Champion 
and Storrs*^ (with the north half of 1), and by N. Hubbard and 
A. Lathrop, agents, it was sold to settlers. No. 6 began to set- 
tle under the same agents as 3. In 1806, Jesse Hopkins was 
appointed agent, and continued about 15 years. Certain lots 
amounting to 5,716 acres were sold to Isaac Bronson, June, 10th, 
1807, for $10,003-44,t and settled by the agents of the latter. 
No. 8 was settled for the proprietors by I. W. Bostwick, agent at 
Lowville. Harrison and Hoffman continued tenants in common 
of 5, 8, and 10, until may 1, 1805. J In July, 1809, an instru- 
ment was executed, securing certain interests of Hoffman to 
Thomas L. Ogden and Abijah Hammond,§ and on the 5th of 
January, 1810, Hoffman conveyed to Harrison his interest in 
these towns. 

The greater part of township 2 (Worth) fell to the share of 
Harrison and Hoffman. It was laid out by Medad Mitchell in 
1795; and, December 23d, 1797, these proprietors made a par- 
tition, and Harrison conveyed'the north half to Hoffman, who, 
July 16th, 1798, ma«le a conveyance to Daniel McCormick and 
Charles Smith, in trust, to sell and convey and to keep the 
money till certain debts were paid.|| Several subsequent trans- 
fers were made, which we have not deemed of sufficient public 
interest to trace. The title to the south part remained with 
Harrison many years, and has but recently been opened for set- 

The boundaries of the Eleven Towns were surveyed by Ben- 
jamin Wright, in April and May, 1796, and from his field book, 
the original of which, received from Robert McDowell, Esq., is 
before us, the following interesting memoranda are quoted. 
These notes enabled the purchasers to estimate the relative value 
of the several townships, and formed the first accurate data pos- 
sessed in relation to the country south of Black River. The 
remarks on towns now in Lewis County are omitted. 

1. [Houndsfield.] This township is poorly watered, along the 
southerly line, but is very fine soil of land, and quite level. 
There it only one swamp, which is near the three mile stake 
[south side], and is a dead, marshy spot of thirty chains in width, 
and appears to extend N. and S. on the line for some distance. 
The timber is, near the lake, oak, hickory, chestnut, and some 

♦ Jeff, deeds A, 112. t Jeff, deeds A, 112. 

t Jeff deeds A, 137. ( Jeff, deeds P, 131. 

II Onei Jft deeds F. 604. 

WrigkPM Remarh9 on the Eleven Towm. M 

beech, maple, ash, birch and ironwood. On the east line of this 
towDi there are many small streams of very fine water. The 
land is descending westerly, and a very fine soil, except a large 
swamp near the four mile tree, which is some marshy, and tim- 
bered with ash, hemlock, &c. There is some exceedingly good 
Eine timber on this line. The other timber is beech, maple, 
ass, elm, ash, ironwood, birch, &c. Pretty level, some gentle 
ascents and descents. Along the river there is an excellent 
body of pine timber of fine quality. The land along the river is 
handsome, but not more than four or five inches to a rocky, flat 
solid stone, which has large vacancies or seams, and the like, 
where you may find cracks in the rocks of ten feet to the bottom, 
and not more than four inches wide. Along the bay, there is a 
pretty good country, except some marshes, where the streams 
come in. The shore in many places along the bay, is a per- 
pendicular rock of 25 or 30 feet, and a very bold, deep shore, 
some flat, rock shore, and almost all is very stony. Some marshes 
along the lake, near to the peninsula, and some small streams, 
which all make a meadow or marsh, where they enter the lake; 
contains 26,048 acres. 

2. [Watertown.] Along the river there is some pretty good 
land, and some that is broken and* rocky. The river is amazing 
rapid, and rocky; some falls along the river which may be made 

»od mill seats and some excellent pine timber along the river. 

^n the east line is a fine country. Near the three mile tree, is 
a swamp of very fine ash timber, which will make excellent 
meadow. There are some steep ascents, and descents, which 
are all excellent soil. Timber, beech, maple, bass, elm, ash, birch, 
and some pine and ironwood; near the river some oak and 
walnut. On the south line is maple, bass, ash, beech, birch and 
elm. A very fine soil and pretty well watered with small streams, 
and some large ones. The west line is of a good quality. There 
arc some fine mill seats in this town, which on the map are 
marked " falls," and " rapids.'* To speak generally, I think this 
to be an excellent township, and scarce any poor land on it. 
Will settle very fast, if laid in lots, and sold to settlers. Con- 
tains 26,804 acres. 

3. [Rutland.] Along the river very rocky, and some very good 
land; very few streams emptying into the river. There is a very 
fine mill stream and various mill seats, near the Black Rivei^ 
where it fells into the river; a fall of six feet, very curious in- 
deed for mills. Along the river, there are two falls of fourteen 
and six feet, which together with the rapids, that extend for a 
number of miles, make up a great fall in the river. The east 
line is a very fine country and handsomely timbered with maple, 
beech, bass, ash, butternut, elm and some pine and hemlock; on 

66 fFrighfi Remarks on the Eleven TawM. 

the soQth line there is a pretty good country, and timbered >vith 
maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, birch and hemlock. Along the line 
on the west side, it is a very good tract of land, and well tim- 
bered. This town appears to be exceeding good; all the waters 
are clear and good, and are formed altogether from springs which 
arise on the land. The town in general is most excellent soil, 
and very w.ell watered, with large and small streams, and I think 
would answer any person's expectation for settling. Contains 
27,604 acres. 

4. [Champion]. Thewest line of this town is in general excel- 
lent land, and has no steep ascents and decents of consequence on it, 
but gentle slopes interspersed with small streams of excellent wa- 
ter. There are some fine mill streams, which have good mill seats 
on this line. A fall on a considerable stream of water, which runs 
northerly, and falls into Black River, is a most excellent mill seat. 
The country is timbered with maple, beech, basswood, birch, ash, 
elm, butternut, and some few hemlocks. Along the river there 
is a very good country after you are a small distance from the 
river, and timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, and but- 
ternut, and some pine, and hemlock. There is a number of good 
mill seats on the streams which empty into the river, and a num- 
ber of rapids. The Long Falls, may be made good mill seats. 
This township is exceedingly good soil, and beautifully timbered, 
watered exceeding well and with excellent water, some lime- 
stone along the river, and some few ledges of other kinds of 
stone, of excellent quality for building stone. I have not traversed 
the interior part of this town, but from every appearance, it is an 
excellent township. It has almost every good quality that can be 
fixed in one township of land. Exceeding fine timber, and many 
mill seats; some fine timber, but not much that I have seen. 
Contains 25,708 acres. 

6. [Henderson]. The south land of this town is exceedingly 
good land, and is timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, 
some oak, and hickory; near the mile tree on the south line, there 
is a swamp of cedar, and some pine, ash, &c. The east line is 
timbered wilh maple, beech, bass, elm, ash, birch, &c., very 
fine soil, and pretty level, some swamp but all good, and will 
make excellent meadow, and are filled with valuable timber. 
The north line is a pretty level country, some gentle ascents 
and descents, and some oak, chestnut, hickory, ash beech, ma- 
ple, and some pine on it. Along the Hungry Bay there is 
a very handsome beach, and very fine land along all the 
whole distance around, until you pass a peninsula when you 
come to where the shore is a perpendicular rock, of from 30 to 
80 and in some places nearly 100 feet. The land does not ap- 
pear to be very good near the shore of these rocks, and no streamfi 

Wright 9 Bmmrki an the Einen Toum. 0T 

whatever. A cedar swamp lies along on the top of the bank for 
a considerable distance. After you are at Stony Point you will 
find the lake shore of flat rocks, and the appearance of the coun«* 
try to be pretty good; some marshes, and some cold hemlock 
land. Where the shore is not rocky, there are very large stones. 
The largest stream in this town is Stony Creek, which has a 
pond about three miles up, of 400 acres and a dead cranberry 
marsh around the pond. There are some fine mill seats on Stony 
Creek, below the pond, but none above. The marsh around the 
pond is very poor, and very miry. To speak generally, this is a 
pretty good town: has a good harbor, on the S. W. part is Stony 
Creek Bay. 

7. Adams. This is a very good township. On the south 
line, it is a very fine country, and very handsomely timbered, 
with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, birch, butternut, and some 
excellent fine timber. Along the east line, there is some pine 
timber, and all the soil is fine; the timber in general is maple, 
elm, bass, ash, beech, birch, iron wood, butternut. It is a pretty 
level country, some undulations and some excellent swaly land. 
On the north line, there is very fine soil, and handsome timber of 
maple, bass, ash, beech, birch, ^laiy butternut, and some iron 
wood. The principal streams are Stony Creek and the north 
branch of Big Sandy Creek. This branch is a large stream of 
1 ch. 80 Iks., width, in general, and has some very fine interval, 
and is almost all flat rock bottom. There are some appearances 
of mill seats on this branch, and I suppose probably very good 
ones, but I have seen nothing of that kind. Some very fine 
springs of water, which are scattered over the town, and are of 
good quality. To speak generally, the town has every good 
quality. Millseats, springs of excellent water, pine timber, 
limestone, clay, maple, beech, bass, ash, butternut, birch, iron- 
wood, pine, oak, and some chestnut timber, gentle ascents and 
descents, fine soil, black mould, and loam in general. 

8. Rodman. The north line of this town is a very fine soil, 
and in general pretty level; some hills and some c^entle ascents, 
all of which are very fine. It is limbered wilh maple, bass, ash, 
elm, beech, birch, butternut, and some few hemlocks, which are 
near the banks of the streams. There is some pine on this line, 
but not a plenty. On the east line there is a pretty good 
country, excepting it is cut to pieces much with the streams, all 
of which make large gulfs, which are from 40 to 150 feet deep. 
On the south line, is a pretty good country, very finely watered 
with streams. The timber in general is ninple, beech, bass, 
elm« hemlock, spruce, ash, birch, soft maple and some iron wood. 
On the west line there is very fine land, which is limbered as 
the rest The north branch of Big Sandy Creek passes through 

68 Title of the hlande. 

this town, near the N. W. part, and makes very fine intervals 
along its course. This is a fine mill stream, and has a sufficient 
quantity of water for all seasons. There are also some other 
streams, which run through this town, on which are fine mill 
seats. Some pine timber on this town, but not in abundance. 

These notes close with the following comparison of the proba- 
ble relative value of the several towns. Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, are 
very little to choose in point of quality. 6 is best situated, but 
7 is most excellent. 5 would be called best by those New 
England people, on account of the luxuriance of the soil on 
Deer Creek. 2 is an exceeding good town, but is not so good 
as 7. 8 and 9 are very good towns. 10, the north part is ex- 
ceedingly good. 11, the west part is excellent. 7 has the 
preference for quality and situation together, and 6 for situation 
only of the whole. No 1 is well situated, but I fear has not 
good mill seats on it. 8 has excellent millseats and 9 also, but 
is some broken. 10 is bad in the south line, and 9 also is cold 
and hemlocky." 

The islands in the St. Lawrence, and Lake, were included in 
the original contract* of Macomb, with the state, of June 22, 
1791, but, from the uncertainty about the boundary, they were 
not patented till long after. The claim of Macomt) passed to 
Daniel McCormick, and was recognized by the commissioners of 
the Land Office, Jan. 28, 1814, when they directed the surveyor 
general to survey such islands as were clearly within the limits 
of the state, at the expense of the owner, and a release of damage 
was to be granted, should the lands so laid out, hereafter be in- 
cluded in Canada, upon the running of the boundary. McCor- 
mick sold his interest to D. A. and T. L. Ogden, which was also 
sanctioned by the commissioners. May 14, 1817. For running 
the boundary agreed upon by the treaty of Ghent, Gen. Peter B. 
Porter, was appointed commissioner, and Samuel Hawkins, agent 
for the United States, and John Ogiivie, commissioner on the part 
of Great Britain, who met at Regis, and alter carefully ascertaining 
the line of 45^ north Lat., by a series of astronomical observations, 
proceeded thence in two parties, one to Lake Champlain, iind the 
other up the river. In 1818, the latter had reached Ogden's 
Island, and in 1819 their labor was completed. Patents were 
issued for the islands, as follows: 

All the islands in the state, between a line drawn at right 
angles to the river, from the village of Morristown, and a meri- 
dian drawn through the western point of Grindstone Island to 
Elisha Camp, Feb. 15, 1823. These islands contained 15,402.9 
acres, of which Grindstone Island contained 5,291, Well's Island 

* Land office minutes, vol. 2. p. 193. 

Tcwtu iff Jeffenon County. 09 

8j068y and Indian Hot Island 369 acres, with several smaller ones, 
without names. Patents were also issued to Camp on the same 
date to Stony Island, 1,536 acres; Calf Island 34.s acres; Little 
Galloo Island 48.8 acres; the mostofGalloo Island 2,216.2 acres; 
and Willow Island | acre. A patent to the United States, for 
30.75 and 5 acres on Galloo Island, was issued Dec. 11, 1819, 
and to Melancton L. Woolsey, Nov. 3, 1823, for Gull's Island 
6.5 acres, and Snake Island 1.4 acres. Cherry Island, in Chaumont 
Bay, 108.4 acres; Grenadier Island' 1.290 acres, and Fox Island 
257.5 acres were patented to Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, and others, 
Oct. 1, 1824. 500 acres on the western part of Carlton Island 
were patented to Charles Smyth, Oct. 2, 1828.* A partition deed 
was executed between Pierrepont, and Joshua Waddington and 
Thomas L. Ogden, Nov. 10, 1824, by which the former received 
Grenadier and Cherry Islands. They were sold, Feb. 19, 1825,f 
for $7000, to Wm. and Gerardus Post of N. Y. These islands 
had been occupied many years by squatters, who with great re- 
luctance yielded possession. Incidents, connected with surveys 
and titles, will be given in our account of the several towns, and 
in their place, sketches of several of the characters who figured 
in these transactions. 

The jurisdiction of a part of Galloo Island was ceded by the 
legislature to the United States for a lighthouse, by an act of 
April 21, 1818; that of Tibbets Point (about three acres) Jan. 
25, 1827; that of Horse Island Apil 26, 1831, and of a part of 
Carlton Island June 21, 1853. In these cessions the state retains 
concurrent civil and criminal jurisdiction. 

♦ ^•^ » 



Adams, taken from Mexico, April Ist, 1802. 

Alexandbia, taken from BroumviUe and Le Bay, April dd, 1821. 

AicTWEBP, taken from Le Ray, April 5th, 1810. 

Bbo wif TILLS, taken from Lofden, April Ist, 1802. 

Cape Vikcknt, taken from Lyme, April 10th, 1849. 

Champion, taken from Mexico, March 14th, J800. 

Ci^TToif, taken from Orieam and Lyme, April 27th, 1833. 

EixisBCROB, taken from Mexico, February 22d, 1803. 

HBin>EBS02r, taken from EUisburgh, February 17th, 1806. 

* See oar account of Cape Vincent, 
t JeffntoBdfedf,V. 417. 

70 TowM in Jefenon County. 

HouifDSFiELD, taken from WaUrlown^ February 17rh, 1806. 
Lx Rat, taken frofn BroumvWe, Peliriiary 17tii, 1806. 
I^RRAiiTE, as MaUaJ^ from Mexico, Miirch 24tli, 1804. 
Ltmb, taken from B ownvUUj March 6tti, 1818. 
Orlbafcs, taken from Brownville, April 3(1, 1821. 
Pahblia, taken from BrownviUe^ April 12fh, 1819. 
Philadrlphia. taken from Le Ray, April 3(1, 1821. 
Rodman as Harristm,* from ^dams, March 24th, 1804. 
Rutland, taken from ffatertomi, April 1st, 1802. 
Therrsa, taken from JUexandria, April 15th, 1841. 
Watertowit, taken from Mexico, March 14th, 1800. 
WiLNA, taken Iroin Lt Ray and Leyden, April 2d, 1813. 
Worth, taken from Lorraine, April 12th, 1848. 

At the lime when the county began to settle, its territory was 
embraced in two towns of Oneida County. Ail south of Black 
River was a part of Mexico, and all north of the river belonged 
to Leyden. The subdivisions that had preceded these, were 
briefly as follows: In 1788 (March 7), Wkitestown was formed 
as a part of Montgomery County, embracing all north, south, 
And west, to the bounds of the state, from which, by successive 
divisions, many hundred towns have since sprung. Steuben was 
formed April lOlh, 1792, from which Leyden was erected, 
March lOlh, 1797, embracing besides its present limits, all east 
and north of the river in this county and Lewis. By the same 
act the town of Mexico was formed, with most of Oswego, the 
south part of Jefferson, and west half of Lewis for its limits, 
and from this town. Champion, Watertown, and Lowville, were 
formed, March 14lh, 1800, by one act; Adams, April 1st, 1802, 
and Ellisburgh, February 22d, 1803. Simeon De Witt in his 
map of the state east of the preemption line, published in 1802, 
adopted the following names to the towns in the county. 

Penet Square, now in Clayton and Orleans, PENET.f 

Great tract number Jour, Castorland. 

Purchjise of the French Company, Chassanis. 

Bl^k R. Trady No. I, now Houndsfield, Hesiod. 
" " 2, " Wcutertown, Leghorn. 

3, " Rutland, Milan. 

4, " Champion, Howard. 
" " 6, " Henderson, Henderson. 
" " 7, " jJdam^, Aleppo. 
" " 8, " Rodman, Orpheus. 

Town of Ellisburgh, Minos. 
Boylston Tract No. I, now Lorraine, Atticus, 
" " 2; " Worth, Fenelon. 

But one of these has since been preserved. 

>* Changed to their present names, April 6th, 1808. 

t A manuicript map of 1798 gives the name of Penet^s Square as Richeland. 

Ada$n$. 71 


Was formed from Mexico, embracing townships No. 7 and 8, 
on the 1st of April, 1802, the first town meeting being held at 
the house of Eliphalet Edmonds* The town derived its name 
from president John Adams. 

^otes from the town records. — Wolf bounties of $5 were 
offered in 1803; of $10 from 1804 to 1814; of %\b in 1815. 
In the latter year a bounty of $10 was offered for wild cats, 
and $1 for loxes. A special meeting was held December 
20(h, 1815, and these bounties were rescinded. In 1818, a wolf 
bounty ot $10 was offered. Panther bounties of t^O offered in 
1811, 1813. 

in 1822-3, the poor upon the town were voted to be sold at 
auction, to the lowest bidder. In 1823, the town voted against 
adopting the poor house, and house of industry, recommended 
by the supervisors. In 1812, a penally of $5 voted for allowing 
Canada thistles to go to seed. At a special town meeting, 
passed November 29tli, 1842, the sum of $500 was voted for 
repairing the state road from Rome to Sackett's Harbor in the 
towns of P..edfield and Boylston. 

At the first town meeting of Adams, held March 1, 1803 
the following town officers were elected: Nicholas Salisbury 
supervisor; Fhineas Keith, clerk; D'Estaing Salisbury, John 
W. Smith, David Grommon, Jr., Thomas White, assessors; Isaac 
Baker, collector; Thomas White, David Comstock, overseers 
of the poor; Paul Slickney, Jacob Kellogg, Simeon Hunt, 
commissioners of highways; Isaac Baker, and Anson Moody, 
constables; Daniel Comstock, David Smith, George H. Thomas, 
George Cooper, fence viewers; Jacob Kellogg, Benjamin 
Thomas, pound keepers; Abraham Ripley, James Perry, Enan 
Salisbury, John Cowles, Consider Law, Solomon Robbins, Heze- 
kiab Tiffany, Thomas White, Daniel Mansfield, Asa Davis, 
Squire Read, Abel Palmer, overseers of highways; David Com- 
stock, Simeon Hunt, deer reeves. 

Supervisors. 1803-12, Nicholas Salisbury ; 1813, Jacob Kel- 
logg; 1814-17, N. Salisbury; 1818-20, Eliphalet Edmonds; 
1821-26, Wm. Hart; 1827-28, Isaac Baker; 1829-30, Cyrus 
Eddy; 1831, Chauncey Baker; 1832, Isaac Baker; 1833, Cyrus 
Eddy; 1834, Wells Benton; 1835, David J. M. Howard; 1836, 
Isaac Baker; 1837, Samuel Bond; 1838, D. J. M. Howard; 
1839-40, John H. Whipple; 1841, Robert B. Doxtater; 1842-43, 
Rufus Herick; 1844, Abram Sheldon; 1845-47, Joseph L. 
Green; 1848, Charles Potter; 1849-52, John C. Cooper; 1853, 
Joseph C. Green. 

AdamSy or No. 7, fell to the share of Nicholas Low, in the 

73 Adams. 

subdivision of the eleven to\vns, by ballot, and \vas surveyed by 
Benjamin Wright in 1796, into 56 lots, numbered from west to 
east, and from north to south, commencing near Henderson Bay, 
and ending on the line of Lorraine. Mr. Wright complained 
of local attractions, that rendered it impossible to run straight 
lines. The lots varied in contents from 240 acres to 676 acres, 
and the whole made an aggregate of 26,505 acres. 

In June, 1799, a company consisting of Nicholas Salisbury, 
Robert Fulton, Caleb Ellis and son Daniel, Joel Guile, Abram 
Wilcox, John and Gideon Howard, and Elihu Phillips, followed 
up the creek from Ellisburgh, through this town and Rodman, 
and the former was so struck with the probable fertility and 
value of the town that he went to New York the same fall, 
and purchased a tract one mile below the village. About a dozen, 
whose names are given in the following list, took up lands the 
same fall. This list is taken from the land books of Nicholas 
Low, in the hands of I. W. Bostwick, Esq.. of Lowville, the agent 
under whom the town was mostly settled. 1798, Elisha Phillips; 
1799,Oct. 29, Stephen Shi ppey, Enon D'Estaing, Nicholas and 
Alex. Salisbury, Solomon Smi h, Daniel Comstock, David Smith, 
Abram Ripley and Jonathan Cable; Nov. 6, Eliph't Edmonds, 
Alexander Dewey; Nov. 14, Geo. Cooper, Jehoida Page, Solomon 
Truman, John W. Smith, Francis McKee, Robert My rick; Dec. 1, 
Squier Read, Daniel Fox, Zaccheus Walworth; 1800, Josiah'God- 
frey, Jenks Seaman, Simeon Forbes, Ebenezer Lazell, David and 
Stephen Grumraons, Isaac Baker, Samuel Fox, Geo. Houseman, 
Peter Dockstader, Paul Stickney, Elias Avery, James McCumber, 
Russell Smith, Eben'r Brown, Amos Claflin, Joshua Comstock, 
Matthew Wilkie, Consider Law. In 1801, Abijah Miller, John 
Freeman, Josiah Godfrey, Daniel Talcott, Hezekiah Tiffany, 
Joseph Cook, Phineas Rose, Robert, Solomon and Asher Rob- 
bins, Simeon Meacham, Timothy Pond, Barnabas Wellman, Wm. 
Thomas, Abel Hart, Henry H. Walrodh, Chauncey and Roswell 
Mills. In 1802, Nathan Loveland, Cornelius Hinds, Sylvanus 
P. Daggart, Abel Loveland, Roswell Taylor, Roswell Coe, John 
Richard, David Higgens, Aaron Farr, John C. Toll, John C. 
Scott, James Streeter, John Kudder, Joseph Landon. In 1803, 
Truman and Theodore Bunce, John Jones, John Wentworth, 
Sylvanus Barney, James Randolph, D. G. M. Gaylord, James 
Henderson, Thomas James, Absalom Price, David Gardner. In 
1804, Job Taylor, Eliphalet Adams, Abel My rick. Darius Mark- 
ham, John C. Dickinson, John Weaver, Aaron Webster, and 
subsequently many others. Although in the fall of 1799, many 
parties were in looking for lands, yet |no settlement was made 
until April 16, 1800, when Nicholas Salisbury,* from Western, 

* Mr. S. died in town, Dec. 11, 1834, aged 71. 

Adam. 73 

N. Y., found his way into town through Lowville, by a tedious 
journey of 26 days, bringing with an ox team and sled, his 
&miiy and goods, fording the streams with great peril, and 
camping at night wherever necessity compelled thetn. Solomon 
Smith and son accompanied, as hired men. John Smith, Francis 
McKee, Consider Law, David Smith, Peter Doxtater* and others, 
several with families, came into town, and begun small clearings, 
mostly in the valley of Sandy Creek. The terms of purchase 
were $3 per acre, and an obligation to clear two acres, and build 
a bouse within a certain time. A tract of 500 acres, where 
Adams village now is was taken up by David Smith,! who in 
1800, built and got in operation a saw mill, and the same season 
witnessed the arrival of numerous settlers, mostly from Oneida 
County. Those on foot, came by way of Rcdfiehl, but this route 
was then impassable for teams. The first acre of clearing was 
cot in May and June, 1800, by Samuel Fox, three miles above 
the Tillage. Mr. David Smith, where Adams Village now is, in 
1801 or 1802, got in operation a very small grist mill, that 
superseded the stump mortars of the first season, and relieved the 
settlers from the long and tedious journeys to Coffeen's Mill in 
Rutland, or voyages in open boats from the mouth of Sandy 
Creek to Kingston. From the first prominent settler at the vil- 
lage, the place acquired and long retained the name of Smithes 
JmtlSf by which it is still sometimes known by the old inhabit- 
ants. In 1801, Jacob Kellogg, John Cole, and many others, moved 
in, and in the second or third following years, a flood of immi- 
gration soon filled up the town, which every where presented 
small patches of clearing, rude huts, blind paths through the 
forest, destined to become roads, and from every side echoed the 
woodman's axe, that gradually prepared the way for cultivation. 

The first deeds of land to actual settlers, were given Aug. 20, 
1802, to George Houseman, Peter Doxtater, Francis McKie, 
Robert Myrick, and David Smith. 

In 1802, a bridge was built near Smith's Mill, which has been 
swept off several times by the floods to which Sandy Creek is 
peculiarly liable, and their maintenance has cost the town con- 
siderable expense. A tax of $500, upon the town of Adams 
was authorized April 13, 1839, for the purpose of building a 
bridge across the north branch of Big Sandy Creek at the village. 
The first death in town, was that of Alexander Salisbury, who 
was drowned, March 21, 1801, while attempting to cross the 

* Mr. D. w«s born at German Flats; was taken prisoner bj Indians, and 
kept three years ; served in the revolution, and died at Adams^ Dec. 1,1843, 
mfed 92. Congress in 1834, granted him a pension. 

t Mr. Smith died March 18, 1844, aged 73. 


74 Adams. 

creek above the dam, in a scow. The first marriage is said to 
have been his widow, to Daniel Ellis, June 8, 1802. In 1803, 
schools were begun at Smith's mills. The first innkeeper in 
town, was Abel Hart: the first merchant, Jesse Hale. 

On the first occasion in which the services of a physician were 
needed, in the winter of 1801-2, C. Smith went on snow shoes 
to Western Oneida County 25 miles, through a forest, and returned 
the second day. This mode of communication was common from 
necessity at that period. Dr. Green is said to have been the first 
physician who settled in town. Dr. Kli Eastman, located at an 
early day and resided till his death, Sept. 6, 1844, aged 77. The 
early history of this town presents few incidents worthy of spe- 
cial notice. During the war a company of Silver GraySy or old 
men not liable to military duty, and mostly revolutionary patri- 
ots, was formed in town, and once or twice repaired to Sackets 
Harbor, but were never taken into the service of government. 
In 1828, the sickness which prevailed so extensively in the vi- 
cinity of the lake, extended to this town, and proved very severe. 
Great numbers were attacked and many died. The location of 
David Smfth, gradually became the centre of business, and has 
become one of the largest and neatest villages in the county. 
Adams Village is located mostly on the north bank of North 
Sandy Creek, near the south line of the town, and contains a 
bank, a weekly newspaper, churches of the Presbyterian, Metho- 
dist, Baptist, and Episcopal orders, and for thrift, enterprise and 
progress, will compare favorably with most villages in the state. 
A visible impulse has been given to it by the rail road, which 
here receives and discharges a large amount of freight for this 
and the adjoining towns. The water power of the village is ad- 
equate for its ordinary wants, and the surrounding country is 
remarkably fertile and well cultivated. The village was incor- 
porat d under the general act, by the court of sessions, Nov. 11, 
1851, and confirmed by a vote of 79 to 51, on the 19th of Dec. 
in ihe same year. The village plat includes 812 acres. An at- 
tempt had been made in 1823, to obtain an act of incorporation, 
but failed; the notice of application was signed by Elihu Morton, 
David Smith, Benjamin Wright, and John Burch. The trustees of 
the village have been: Feb. 1852, John H. Whipple, Samuel Bond, 
Calvin Skinner, Calvin R. Totman, and Wells Benton. March 
1S52, Jeremiah Grisworld, J. H. Whipple, C. Skinner, C. R. 
Totman, W. Benton, March 1853, Thomas P. Saunders, J. H. 
Whipple, Justice Eddy, Wm. Grenell, Julius K. Bartlet. 

On the 27lhof May, 1852, the village was divided into five 
wards, and a code of by laws adopted. A fire company was formed. 
May 24, 1853. About twenty-five years since, an effort was 
made towards establishing a female seminary here, of which Mr. 

Adams. 75 

Thomas C. Chittenden was one of the most active promoters. 
A small academic building was subsequently erected by individual 
enterprise! and the aid of Universalists, who stipulated the right 
of holding meetings in it on the sabbath. The building has since 
been generally used for private schools, under the name of the 
Adams Seminary^ and is now occupied as a session room by the 
Presbyterian Society. The project of founding an academy at 
this place, has lately come up for discussion. 

The Adams Library was formed April 12, 1831, with Cyrus 
Eddy, Wm. Chittenden, Walter Webb, Forester Dexter, and 
Wells Benton, trustees. It has long since been dissolved. 

A Rural Cemetery Association was formed under the general 
act, Jan. 17, 1848, of 33 citizens, who have laid out a neat and 
quiet lot, for the purpose, near the village. 

Adams Centre^ ten miles by rail road from Watertown, and 3J 
from Adams Village, is situated on the upper lake ridge, which 
extends many miles southward and around into the Black River 
Valley. Its first growth as a village commenced in 1818, and 
since the location of the rail road it has increased rapidly, con- 
taining in August 1853. two Seventh Day Baptist, and one Bap- 
tist churches, 2 hotels, 4 stores, 2 carriage shops, 1 tin shop, 
the usual variety of mechanics, and about 40 dwellings. It was 
formerly known as Adams Five Comers. This place is 5 miles 
from Smithville, 4 from Rodman, 10 from Brownville, 11 from 
Dexter, and 8 from Sackets Harbor. 

On the west line of the town, and partly in Henderson, is the 
village of Smithville^ which derives its name from Jesse Smith, 
one of the most energetic and active business men, who have 
lived in the county, and who, from a small beginning, arose to 
affluence, and controlled a business, which, for extent and import- 
ance, has had few parallels in the country. He first settled in 
Rodman, when the town was new, and began life as a jobber, 
in clearing land and making pota-h. At Smithville, he engaged 
in milling, distilling, and merchandise, and gradually became 
interested in the lumber trade, and commerce of the lakes, to a 
great exent. He removed about fifteen years since to Newark, 
Ohio, where he now resides. Settlement was begun here in 
1804, by Daniel Hardy. In 1805, Abel My rick, Henry Knapp, 
Samuel and Andrew McNitt, and soon after others located in the 
vicinity. The first public house was opened by D. Hardy. Brooks 
Harrington was the first post master. The village contains now 
fifty families. It has a limited water power on Stony Creek, and 
is surrounded by a rich dairying; country. The Sackets Harbor 
and Ellisburgh rail road passes near the village. The Smithville 
Library was formed Feb. 16, 1824 and dissolved in 1845, having 
collected 362 volumes. The first trustees were Abel L. Crandall, 

76 Adams. 

Henry Keith, Daniel Hall, Jr., John M. Bart, C. M. AAwm% 
Rosweli Bosworih, and Brooks Harrington. In Feb. 1827, a. 
post office was established near the line of Watertown, and naqied 
union Post Office; E. M. Howard (kst post master. It has since 
changed to ^ppiing^ in honor of the intrepid officer who took 
the chief command in the battle of Sandy Creek. Adams, Adams . 
Centre, and North Adams are names of the other post offices in. 
this town. 

Religious Societies. The Presbyterian Church of Adams Vil- 
lage, was formed as a Congregational one, July 1804, by Rev. E, 
Lazell, of 4 males, and 2 females. In 1801, divine worship had 
been established on the sabbath, and in 1802, the first sermon 
was preached by Rev. Mr. Woodward, missionary. Mr. John 
Taylor was hired a short time after, and in 1806, Rev. Phelps 
was hired to preach a few months. On the 31st of July 1811, 
Rev. Chauncey Cook was installed first pastor, in which year 26 
were added. In 1815 the pastor left, and in the spring of 1816, 
Mr. Burt was "hired 3 months. Rev. Mr. Porter was then em- 
ployed 2 years, and in 1818 Rev. Enos Bliss, 6 months. In 1819, 
40 were added, and in April Rev. Geo. W. Gale was employed. 
Oct. 25, 1819, he was installed by the St. Lawrence Presbytery, 
and in 1823 resigned. During Mr. Gale's ministry, a general 
revival of religion occurred, and in 1822, 63 united with this 
church, among whom was Charles &. Finney, who has since 
acquired a national celebrity as an evangelist, and is now presi- 
dent of Oberlin College. He had previously been a law student, 
under Judge B. Wright, and evinced an ability and sagacity, 
that would doubtless have made him eminent in that profession. 
His attention is said to have been turned to religious subjects, 
under the preaching of the Rev. Jedediah Burchard, who has 
attained a distinction not less general as a revival preacher, and 
of whose labors we shall have repeated occasions to mention in 
the following pages. The preaching of Mr. Finney has been 
remarkable for the boldness and originality of his logic, and the 
strength and clearness of his arguments, which seldom fail to 
secure the undivided attention of his audience, without those 
extraneous aidsto excitement, which, in the hands of some, have 
produced analagous results. His first ministerial labors were 
performed in Lorraine, and, previous to his commencing his career 
as a revival preacher, he was employed at Evans Mills and else- 
where, as a stated supply. This church became Presbyterian 
Jan. 29, 1821, and has since so remained. On the 25th of Jan. 
1825, the Rev. John Sessions was installed pastor and remained 
till the spring of 1830. Rev. J. Hart was hired the same fall, 
and in 1831, a period of great religious interest occurred, and 
many were added to the church. David A. Clark was in 1832 

AdatM. Tl 

insfalkdy and left the next year. Joseph Myers, Chas. Jones, 
Dexter Clary, J. H. Carr, R. Richard Kirk, and P. C. Headley 
have since been employed, the latter being the present pastor. The 
First Congregational Society of Adams was formed Aug. 28, 
1805, with Jacob Kellogg, Eh'phalet Adams, Elijah Fox, Daniel 
Comsitock, Preserved Redway, and Simon Meacham, trustees. A 
chnrcb, 30 l^ 40 feet, was built soon after the war, and opened 
1818; it was afterward used by the Methodists, until burned about 
a year since. In 1825 the present church was commenced, and 
dedicated in 1827; cost $7000. The total number who have 
united with this church is about 600. 

A Baptist church was formed at the house of David Grommon, 
in September, 1802, and on the 13th of October, 1805, the Lord's 
Supper was first administered. In June, 1806, Elder Timothy 
Heath was employed, and meetings were for some time held at 
his house and barn; and on the 14th of December, 1824, a 
society was formed, with Daniel Taloott, Jacob Heath, and Asa 
Lewis, trustees. In the same year a church was built one mile 
from Adams Centre, on the state road, and in 1838, their present 
church was erected at a cost of about $3,000. Timothy Heath, 
Joshua Freeman, Charles Clark, Thomas Bright, and J. J. Teeple, 
have been successively employed as pastors of this church. In 
18S3, a portion of the members erected a meeting house at 
Adams Centre, and have organized a separate society. On the 
30tb of March, 1837, a Baptist church and society were formed 
at Adams village, with Jesse Wright, Hannibal Miller, and Spen- 
cer Woodward, trustees; but no church was built until 1847, when 
the present one was erected at a cost of $3,500, and dedicated 

in January, 1848; the Rev. Charles Clark, Hartson, and 

M. C. Manning, have been employed as ministers by this church. 

The'First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Adams, 
was formed October 24, 1828; the first trustees being Laban 
Ross, Philip Younge, David Wright, Zephania Jacker, Chester 
McKee, Daniel Dikeman, and John Adams. For some time the 
Methodists occupied the edifice first erected by the Presbyterians, 
but this being burned, they, in the summer of 1853, erected in 
Adams village a house 44 by 80 feet, at a cost of about $6000, 
including the site. In point of elegance and taste this edifice 
will compare favorably with any of the class in the county. 
A parsonage was built adjoining, the same season. The society 
had been reorganized May 14, 1838. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church and Society in the vil- 
lage of Smithville was formed October 31, 1844, with Horace 
Ivory, John Shanley, John D. Gillett, James Morton, and John 
Briley, trustees. A small church was built about 1845. 

Ili 1817| one or two families of Seventh Day Baptists, removed 

78 Adam$* 

from Berlin, N. Y., to Adams Centre, and sobti Held meetiiige^ 
On the 6tb of June 1822, Wm. B. Maxson, and David Cooiiu 
sent for the purpose from Brookfield,N. Y., ordained Wm. Greeoi 
and June 9, formed a church of 10 males and 11 females iii^ 
uary 3, 1836 a society was formed, with. Edward Whitford, 
Elihu Cleveland, Joseph S. Maxson, Asa K Maxson, fienjamid 
Maxson, Charles Greene, Joseph (ireene, Jr., Job Spencer, and 
S. Burdick trustees, who erected a church at Adams Centre, soon 
after. This body belongs to the Central Seventh Day ^Baptist 
Association of New York. The clergy have been, Wm, Greene, 
Eli S. Bailey, Giles M. Langworlhy, Joel Greene, Alexander 
Campbell, and James Suromerbell; and by their report of 1853, 
the church contained 196 members. During the ministiy of 
Mr. Campbell, the church was divided. 

In March, 1852, seventeen members who had withdrawn and 
had been excommunicated from the latter, were formed by ReV. 
Alexander Campbell into the Independent Seventh Day Baptist 
Church, of Mams y who, the same year, built at a cost of $1,300, 
a church in the south part of Adams Centre Village, which was 
dedicated December 15, 1852. The Evangelical Seventh Day 
Baptist Society was formed January 3, 1853, with H. Bunce» 
Job Spencer, and Joel Saunders, trustees. Present number of 
church (August 1853), eighty-two. The Second Congregational 
Church of North Adams was formed by Rev. D. Spear, at the 
house of Roger Reed, November 1, 1809, of five males and eight 
females; and their first pastor was Edward W. Rossiter, who 
was installed November 11, 1818, and has been followed by 
Abel L. Crandall, D. Spear, Austin Putnam, P. Cook, and 
Lewis M. Shepard; the most of whom preached alternately 
here and at Smithville. The latter was installed July 19, 1848^' 
and remained till September 5, 1850, since which there has 
been no minister. The Society of this church was formed at 
the house of Asher Robbins, December 5, 18 16, of which John 
Barnard, Asher Robbins, and Ruel Parsons, were trustees. 
January 28, 1817, Simon Read, Daniel Hall, Jr., and Amos Bos- 
worth, were added to trustees. 

The centre of the society being found to be a mile west of 
North Adams, a chuich was built in 1818, and in August, 1823,. 
the society was divided; the Smithville Church leaving the 
meeting house with the Adams portion, who removed it to North 
Adams, its present place. Upon removing and repairing their 
church, a new society was formed, November 19, 1839, with 
Heman Colton, Elisha Reed, and Ephraim Reed trustees. 

Emanuel Church (Episcopal), in the town of Adams, was 
legally formed February 18, 1849, the Rev. J. M. Bartlett beiag; 
rector. Henry B. Whipple, and Wm. Morton Johnson were 

Alexandrui. 79 

eboMn "idiiik^i and John McGarty; David Gaylord, Hiram 
Saiisbyry,.PlrfiipR. Ward» John Wright, Justus Eddy, Charles 
"W. Rodger^, aiw Thomas Dobson, vestrymen. On the 9th of 
October, 1849, the corner stone of a church vras laid, and it vras 
€6iiipleted at a cost of over $2,000. The Rev. 0. E. Herrick 
\Mi t>eefi since employed, but the parish is now vacant 


This town was erected from Brownville and Le Ray, April 3, 
IS^l, by the same act that formed Philadelphia and Orleans, 
the first town meeting being held at the house of Wm. Merrill. 
By the first act its limits included Theresa. An act of Feb. 6, 
1840, restored to the town of Orleans a small part that had been 
annexed to the latter. 

The town derives iis name from Alexander, a son of J. D. 
Le Ray, who obtained a Colonel's commi>sion in the Tex an revo- 
lution, and fell in a duel in 1836. It is the most northern town 
in the county, and lies opposite the Thousand Islands, which 
here present the most delightful scenery. 

Supervisors. — 1829, John D. Davidson; 1833-5, Jason Clark; 
1836, J. D. Davidson; 1837, J. Clark; 1838, John W. Fuller; 
1839-40, Mirhael Lewis; 1841, Alexander Salisbur}% at a spe- 
cial meeting in May, J. Clark; 1842, J. Clark; 1843-9, Harvey 
D. Parker; 1850, Geo. W. Clark; 1851, Mo^ C, J»wett; 1852, 
H. D. Parker; 1853, Andrew Cornwell. * loltf^of tic early 
records has prevented the above list from bg i fe fw feet. 

The first improvement in this town was made if>out IS 11, by 
Le Ray, who caused a clearing to be made at iMcSrtndria Centre, 
and this plan was adopted to some extent in Theresa, to afford 
feciiities to first settlers, by supplying them with grain, until it 
could be raised by themselves. He paid $12 per acre with the 
ashes, and half the first crop, for these jobs, and built a log barn. 
In 1811, the proprietors made the Morris and Hammond road, 
extending frotn Hammond village to the Red Tavern, near 
Theresa, where it intersected another road, from the river to 
Philadelphia. The former was cleared four rods wide, bridged 
and Meded with grass, but had become nearly closed up, when 
it was reopened as a part of the Military Road, in 1820-3. 

Cranberry Creek, about three miles from its mouth, was, dur- 
ing the war, the scene of an engagement that will be detailed 
in its place. Sales of land commenced in this town and Theresa 
in 1816, under Mr. Le Ray^ the proprietor. The first contracts 
were made payable in seven years, and required the settlers, 
within one year, to build a house, equal to a log house 18 feet 
square, and to clear one twenty-fifth part of the land contracted, 
ma fanner-Uke manner. Prices begun at $3, and after 1820, 

80 Alexandria. 

mineral reservations were inserted in contracts and deeds. JamiBS 
Carnagie, Samuel Youngs, Wm. Martin, Moses George, Leices- 
ter Hoadley, Root, John W. Fuller, Jerre Carrier, and oth- 
ers, were early settlers. The town continued to improve rapid- 
ly until 1828, when a sickly season checked its growth, and 
gave it a reputation from which it was slow in recovering. Sev- 
eral incidents are related of this town, at the period of its first 
settlement, among which was the following encounter with a 
panther, in 1819, as related by Jairus Rich, the hunter. It oc- 
curred near Hyde Lake, about three miles from the village of 
Plessis. He had set his traps for wolves, and had arrived within 
a few rods of one of them, when he observed a panther spring 
up and run with a trap to one of his hind legs. He fired, but 
missed the mark, and his game made off into the thicket, when 
he returned to a house nearly a mile distant, procured a small 
dog, and having again repaired to the place, and stationed him- 
self where he could start the entrapped animal, he observed the 
head of a panther emerge from the bushes about five rods dis- 
tant, upon which he fired and killed him instantly. He soon 
found that this was not the one in the trap, and a heavy shower 
of rain coming on, he found it difficult to load his rifle again, 
which he at length did. The dog, meanwhile, had engag^ed the 
other panther, upon which he fired and wounded him, and find- 
ing he could not reload, on account of the rain, he threw down 
his piece, and seizing his hatchet, sprung upon him, when 
there ensued a< fearful struggle, in which, finally, the beast got 
under, with one of the man's hands in his mouth; the hatchet 
was lost, but with the other hand he drew from his pocket a 
knife, opened it with his teeth, and finally succeeded in cutting 
the throat of the ferocious animal. The hunter was badly torn, 
but made out to crawl to the nearest house, where, after many 
weeks, he recovered, but carried the scars of the conflict with 
him to the grave. We have condensed this account from one 
published soon after the occurrence, in the Independent Republic 
can. The bounties for the destruction of wild animals were then 
so great, that the inducements for gain led to ingenious mea- 
sures for securing the rewards, and it is related of the same per- 
son, that having trailed a she wolf to her den, and killed her, he 
found in her cave ten young whelps, but too small to be entitled 
to the bounty. He accordingly built a pen in the forest, and fed 
them daily upon wild meats which he^ obtained in hunting, un- 
til they were grown. He became strongly attached to one of 
them, who would follow him like a dog, but the temptation of 
$50 was too strong to resist, and he slew his favorite pet, to gain 
the premium. 
This breeding wolves for the market, had its parallel in an 

Alexandria* 81 

instance in this town, in which a hunter, to gain the reward that 
might be offered for the secret, professed to know of a saU springs 
to which he was induced to conduct a certain person, and in 
which he had a little previous buried a hag of salt. The water 
being duly '^analyzed," by measuring, evaporating, and weighing, 
a purchase of nearly 800 acres was made, without a knowledge 
of the spring by the landholder, nor was the trick discovered 
before the bargin had been sealed and the sale perfected. 

Jllexandria Bay was selected by Cadwallader Child, in 1804, 
while surveying a road from the Friends Settlement to the St. 
Lawrence, as an eligible site for a port, and accordingly a reser- 
vation of a mile square was made by Mr. Le Ray, for a village, 
which was surveyed out for that purpose by Edmund Tucker, 
about 1818. Mr. Le Ray erected a tavern and ware bouse, and 
for many years a thriving lumber trade was carried on, which 
continued as long as the supply lasted. This consisted of oak 
staves, and square oak and pine timber. A considerable amount 
of valuable timber had been stolen from this town, in common 
with the whole front of the state on the St. Lawrence, before there 
was any one to assert the title of the proprietors. The lower 
wharf at this place was built by Fuller and Walton, in 1823, and 
the upper one bv Walton and Hamblin in 1840. The port has 
always been a landing place for the American steamers, and is 
an important wooding station. In the last two years about 12,000 
cords have been sold, each year. A custom house was established 
at this port in 1828, subordinate to the Cape Vincent district, 
while John B. Esselstyn was in charge of that office. The de- 
puties here, have been Hiram Davis, Azariah Walton, John W. 
Fuller, A. Walton, Edwin Tanner, and Martin J. Hutchins, the 
present incumbent. Mr. Walton has held the office 18} years, 
Fuller ] J years, and Tanner 4 years. For many years the receipts 
of the office did not pay the expense of collecting. Sunken Rack 
Light HousCf in front of this port, was built in 1847. The village 
of Alexandria Bay contained by the census of Mr. Rottiers in 
1850, 27 dwellings, 30 families, and 164 inhabitants. This vi- 
cinity has witbin ten years, become a fashionable resort for fishing 
parties, and the romantic scenery of the islands present attractions 
for those who take pleasure in observing the quiet and beautiful 
in nature, which has scarcely a parallel. Nor is the geology and 
natural history of this section without its romance, and the ob- 
server can scarcely advance a step, \^ithout having his attention 
arrested by some interesting feature, which affords subject for 
thought and admiration. The largest island before this town is 
Wells Island, which contains 8,068 acres, and in 1850 had 334 
inhabitants, of which 101 were in this town. The rock forma- 
tion is, like most of the Thousand Isles, primitive, and it presents 

SB Jhscattdridi^ 

li^^rtfle«oiI,>ahd its vicimty sererai attractive miBerftlloeatitiefi. 
l^tjl (he running of the national boundary, the British, exercised 
juriaditition over most of the islands, including this. Alocaiiiy 
of- liighJy chry»talized nicignetic iron ore, occurs 4 miles abov« 
tbe Bay, and 1^ from the river, v^hich has been purchased .and 
opened to^ome extent by parties in Morristown. Sufficient labor 
has^not been expended to determine its extent or value. 

Plessis, 7k small village, mi<l\vay on the Alexandria andThe!* 
l%sa plank roati, and 3 miles from Redwood, derived its name 
fh>m a place in France. It is often known as Flat Rock, from 
the pi-evalence ot the Potsdam sandstone formation in the vi^ 
ciniAy, Avhich presin(s a considerable surface of naked rock. In 
.1817 Mr. Le Ray erected a grist mill on Plessis Creek, at this 
]>iace, which, having been purchased by W. Shurtliff, and 
Jason Clark, was in 1830 rebuilt. A store had been opened 
by Lull and Walton in 1820, but the place increased very 
slowly, anil ten years after contained but four familes. It now 
contains an inn, 3 stores, ] grist mill, 3 saw niills, 2 wagon shops, 
2 blacksmiths shops, 1 cabinet shop and 130 inhabitants. John 
Powell was tried lor the murder of Wm. Merrill at this place, in 
1626, and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. 

Redwood^ a small village near the line of Theresa, owes ils 
origin to a glass factory, established by John S. Foster who for 
Several years had been engaged in this business as agent, at Bos^ 
ton, Burlington, Vt. and Redt'ord, Clinton County. In April 1&33, 
he visited the county, examined several localities, and finally se- 
lected this, \ihich i:$ on the stream connecting Mud and Butter- 
field lakes, the former of which is about 94 feet above the latter, 
affording a Limited amount of water power, that had several years 
previous been improved by the erection of a saw and grist miU 
by David Smith of Adams. Foster contracted with Francis 
Depau, for a tract of about 10,000 acres, as agent; borrowed 
several thousand dollars of Depau and the same summer erected 
the present glass factory, and on the 30th of Sept. 1833, the first 
glass was made. A village was surveyed by Thomas Clark, and 
named Jamesville, but Mr. Foster gave the place the present 
name, from its similarity to Red/ardy his late residence, in hopes 
of thus being able to compete in the sale of glass with an estab* 
Ushraent from which he claimed to have been unjustly discharged. 
His death, which occurred Jan .2, 1834, put a stop to operations, 
and the tract and improvements according to the contract, revert* 
ed to Depau. The factory was afterwards run by Schmauss, & Co., 
Gerlach & Son, Ingleson, Forbes & Co., H. S. White, and from 
1844 by Zeng & Co., from tbd Clyde glass factory. This firm at 
first consisted of Lawrence W*. De Zeng, A. Burlingame, and 
Tlieodoare Hinman. Tlie lattier was succeeded by A«. Salisbury, 

aDd4U&£rm c^ti&ueid op^i«9ti6li6 iilVJQljr 4i 1333^ iwb^u ajoint 
stodfi eompany: x)f $}2fi^ capital, went iQt<y operatiouj eotitleci 
\heB^dMm(d Gbm Manufacturing Cqnipany.: 
: The xocnpaiiy empioys about 30 ipei^ and makes i|40,000 
wotIIl of glass^ . tQiiMaUy. Tbe ^la&s is sortetlipto qualfties as 
folto>a^,:-.cci]i»(»ndQg U-ith tbf^ best; viz.. Patent Istf Patent^ 
Lake; CyUoder; Bo$aon^ ^. : . 

The material, for tbeoe tarious qus^litjes \s tbe same, a^id an 
eflbrti ia aliK^ftys made ^oiobtain tbe Jifst quality^ but there are so 
many, contiiigeDci^ unavoidable in tbe manufacture^ that a con? 
siderabte poition lh)m ejich blowing belongs to tbe poorer quaii-*^ 
tJes« . :Tbe saiid uskd in making glass js procured by calcining 
and crushing the Potsdam sandstone of the vicinity , which is 
found to aflbrd a matf rial well adapted to the business. The 
wfaolesale prices of glass vary from $2 to $3 per 50 feet for the 
small sizes. : Tbe. three better qualities^^ alpue are cut. to Iarg9 
sizeSy the prices of. which become more than double, as tbc^ di« 
meQsions i?ea€h 26 by 36 inches and upwards. The labor of 
blowing into cylioders, flattening and cutting, i^ paid by the 100 
feet, and wages yary with the skill and luck of the laborers^- 
some of whom^. receive high wages. Redwood has, besides,; a^ 
Catholic and Episcopal church, two inns, three stores, one grist*^ 
mill, twoi^w-miljs, two wagon sl^ps, and several other sbops,| 
with water power. ;.Jn 1850 it had 58 families, and 332 inhabr; 
itants^ It'is onjbe Military Road, 13 miles iromHammomi, and 
distant 7 miles from Alexandria Bay, 3 fromPlessis, and 6 from 
Theresa. Alexandria, Alexandria Centre, Plessis and Redwood 
are post offices in this town. The Alexandrian Library was 
formed June 2, 1823, having for its first trustees Jerre Carrier, 
Willard Merrick, William Merrill, Hiram Mills, Jonathan B. 
Thompson, Joseph Ingham, Jr., Samuel J. Bingham, Nathaniel 
GkxMlell, Jacob Elwood. It has been discontinued. 

This town set a commendable example by tbe holding of a 
town fair and cattle show, for the encouragement of agriculture, 
in 1838 and 1839, the first of which was held at Plessis, and 
tbe second at Theresa Falls, then in Alexandria. The notice of 
tbe first of these was issued in March, several months in ad- 
vance, and promised the distribution, as premiums, of not less 
than $130, the. mo$t of which was eiven by tbe land proprie- 
tors interested in the town. Mr. Marshall, agent of Depau, was 
active in originating the first fair, while the second was a popu- 
lar movement. They were held but two years. 

Religious Societies. — The First Presbyterian Church of Alex- 
andria was formed at Plessis, August 1 1, 1821, by Rev. Nathaniel 
Dtttton, and consisted of seven members. The clergy since em- 
pkiy«l^ iiave beeii the Rev; Messrs. Wm. B. Stowe, John Ses-r 

f ions, Wm. Cbftleiiden» liewis M. Sbqpard, L. "Wilcox, Heilry 
Smith, aod C. W. Treedwell. It has belonged to the Wator- 
town Presbytery since February, 1823. A union church wM 
built in Plessis, in 1833, at a cost of $2,100, of which Francis 
Depau gave $1,000, the Antwerp Company $100, and cittzeos 
the balance. It is open to all denominations one quarter of the 
time, to Presbyterians one-half, to the Free Will Baptists one- 
eighth, and to the Universalists one-eighth of the time. 

A Congregational Society was organized at the Bay, in 1883, 
with J. Carrier, N. Groodale, A. Goddard, Wm. Merrill, and Jas. 
Carnigie, trustees. A Methodist Society was formed Dec. 22, 
1835, the first trustees being Samuel J. Brooks, Alexander Mor« 
gan, and Benjamin Bams. This denomination has a chapel at 
Alexandria Centre, which was erected about 1839. 

St. Peter's Church (Episcopal), was formed at Redwood, Aug. 
12, 1850, with Daniel Slack and Matthias Harrison, wardens^ 
Richard Gray, L. W\ DeZeng, Chas. Clark, James Wright, and 
Josiah Bucklee, vestrymen. Rev. Wm. Allen Fisk was at that 
time missionary. The present one is the Rev. B. W. Whitcher. A 
small Gothic church was erected in 1851, after the designs of R. 
Upjohn of New York. The church now reports 98 individuals. 
The Baptists have two organizations in town, the first of which 
began to report to the B. R. Association in 1830, and the second 
in 1833. Their last report gave 21 and 34, respectively, and 
neither have a house of worship. The Free Will Baptists have 
an organization in town, but their numbers are much reduced. 

St. Francis' Church (Catholic), was erected about five years 
since, at Redwood, and is supplied by priests from Watertown 
and Carthage. 

A Reformed Protestant Dutch Church was organized at Alex* 
andria Bay, under the following circumstances. In the summer of 
1846, the Rev. George W. Bethune, D. D., of Brooklyn, having 
occasion to spend a few days at the place, and learning that 
among a scattered population of 2000, on the island and main 
land, there was no place of worship, and few religious opportu- 
nities, except one service a month by a Methodist circuit preach- 
er, formed the plan of organizing a church here. He called 
the inhabitants together, and preached to them on the sabbath, 
and at the close of the service he suggested to them the estab- 
lishment of a sabbath school, promising them a supply of books 
for the purpose. The suggestion was complied with, a school 
opened, 40 or 50 scholars gathered into it, and it was kept up 
about a year. In 1847, the Rev. Jerome A. Davenport was in- 
duced by Dr. Bethune to visit the place as a missionary, 'being 
partially supported by a few friends of the mission, until, in 
1850, the care was assumed by the Board of Domestic Missioiis, 

otthMogia. Id tbefaU of 1847, Mr. TL raised $d27&, in New 
Yorky Brooklyn, and adjacent piac», and $275 from resi* 
dents at the Bay^ He remained three years, a considerable time 
abroad, soliciting aid, and in the fall of 1848 the erection of a 
church was begun, and May 25, 1851, it was opened for wor- 
ship. It is of stone, 35 by 55 feet, and has a truncated tower 60 
feet high. It will seat from 350 to 400 persons, and cost $2,821- 
88, besides $170 for a bell, of which all but $286*91 was raised 
abroad. Since August, 1850, the Rev. Anson Du Bois has had 
the pastoral care of the church. On the 1st of August, 1851, 
the church was regularly formed, the Rev. Charles Wiley, D. D. 
being present aa a committee representing the Classis of Cayuga.* 
It consisted of 13 members, of whom 5 were males; present ' 

number 20. Alva Ford and James Wadsworth were appointed # 

elders and deacons, and the organization was named The 
Church of the Thtmsand bles. The sites for a church and par- 
sonage were given by the heirs of Depau, and a parsonage was 
built in 1852, at a cost of $800. 


This town was formed from Le Ray, with ityi present 
limits, April 5th, 1810, to take effect on the 1st of January 
following. A part of Lewis County was annexed to Jefferson 
by the same act The first town meeting was directed to be 
held at the house of Francis McAllaster. 

Sttperrwor*.— 1811-7, Daniel Hcald; 1818-9, Silvius Hoard; 
1820-2, John Howe; 1823-4, S. Hoard; 1825-6, J. Howe; 
1827, Joseph H. Bagg; 1828, Ralph Rogers; 1829, William 
Skinner; 1830-2, Rufus H. King; 1833-4, David McAllaster; 
1835, R. H. King; 1836, Edward Fowler; 1837-8, Tilley R. 
Pratt; 1839, R. H. Kine; 1840, William McAllaster; 1841-2, 
James White; 1843, Alanson Drake; 1844-9, Alden Adams; 
1850-1, Joseph H. White; 1852, Josiah S. Conkey; 1853, 
John H. Conklin. The town is named from Antwerp in Belgium, 
the seat of the Antwerp Company. 

Jfotesfrom the Town Records, 1811. — *^ Resolved, that there 
be five dollars raised for the purpose of destroying the animal 
woolf, by a majority of said meeting, and payed, for each full 
grown woolf caught and killed in said town the ensuing year." 
The same bounty in 1812-3. In 1816, a bounty of $1 was 
oflfered for foxes, and 25 cents for hen hawks, but these were 
repealed the next year. In 1835, a crow bounty of 1 shilling 
was offered. In 1827-8 and 1837-8, wolf bounties of $10. 
In 1839, of $15; in 1841-2-3-4, wolf bounties of $20. In 
1840-1, crow bounties of 1 shilling. 

86 Antwerp* 

On the 2d of July, 1812, a special meeting was called to take 
measures considered necessary in consequence of the war. 
Their proceeding are recorded as follows: 

'*At a convened meeting of the inhabitants of the town of 
Antwerp, county of Jefferson, for the purpose of making fortifi- 
cation against an expected enemy, the following resolutions 
were passed. Resolvedy That Samuel Randall, town clerk, shall 
be made moderator. Resolved^ That there be built a fort, 36 by 
20, the lower story, and upper 40 by 22^ for the security of the 
inhabitants of said town. Resolved, that it be set north of 
Indian River 30 rods, in front of Sylvius Hoard's house." John 
Howe, Silas Ward, and Oliver Hoard, were appointed a building 
committee, 60 cents were to be allowed for a day's work, to be 
paid by a tax. 

On the 17th of July, another special meeting was held, at the 
request of the commissioners and supervisor of the town, for 
the purpose of devising " a proper method for our defense, 
through a tragedy of war which is now beginning action 
between the United States and Great Britain,"^and according to 
law, notice was given to the inhabitants, for the said meeting to 
be held at the house of Francis McAllaster, inn keeper. A 
similar sA*ies of resolutions were passed, with the additional 
clause requiring the laborers on the fort to work for 50 cents per 
day and board themselves. 

In 1813, a town law was passed, requiring the registry of 
births and deaths, and this commendable practice was maintained 
several years. In 1816, a committee consisting of John Howe, 
Silvius Hoard, and Samuel Randall, were appointed to take 
charge of the church when completed. This was the present 
brick church, erected at the expense of David Parish, for the 
use of the town, at a cost of $9692-26. 

In 1825, the following extraordinary bounty was offered by 
the town. "And it is further ordained and declared by the au- 
thority aforesaid, that if any person or persons not exceeding 
four in number, being inhabitants of said town of Antwerp, shall 
devise, discover, or perceive, any certain and sure plan, method, 
or device, for effectually destroying and eradicating the Canada 
thistle from the land, such persons shall each be entitled to receive 
from the said town, the sum of $10." At the same meeting it 
was resolved that the annual town meeting should annually 
thereafter, be held alternately at Indian River and Ox Bow 
villages. For several years these have been held at Antwerp 
village only. 

The first settler in this town, is said to have been Capt. Wm. 
Lee, who in 1803, located on the old state road, thiee miles 
north of Antwerp village, where he was induced to open an inn 

Antwerp. 87 

for the accommodation of the settlers then passing through into 
St. Lawrence County. The town had been early purchased* by 
Gen. Lewis R. Morris, of Springfield, Vt., who at one time de- 
signed settling at the present village of Ox Bow, where he made 
a small clearing and erected a log house. Under his direction 
the town began to settle. 

In the spnng of 1806, Silas Ward commenced the erection of 
a saw mill at the present village for Morris, which was the first 
improvement here, and the place acquired and long maintained 
the name of Indian Rivery by which name it is still known by 
old settlers. It being at the point where the state road crossed 
the river, and affording a good water power, the place was 
naturally destined to become the centre of business for the sur- 
rounding country. In the winter of 1805, a road was opened 
from Philadelphia to this place and Ox Bow, and the next year 
to Gouverneur, which began to settle at about this time. Ger- 
shom Matoon kept the first inn at the village. In Jan. 1807, 
John Jenison, was appointed a local agent, under whose direction 
a grist mill was built on the site of the present clothing works. 
The land books show the following names of settlers, with the 
dates of their purchase: 1805, Wm. Lee. 1806, John Bethel, 
John Robinson, Peter Vrooinan, Edward Foster, Jr., Mary Stir- 
ling, Benajah Randall, John Jenison, Peter Raven, Hopestill 
Foster and John C. Foster. 1807, Zebulon Rockwell, Samuel 
Griswold, David Coffeen, Zopher Holden. 1808, Samuel Ran- 
dall, Zebina Bishop, Mary Bishop, Alfred Walker, Daniel Gill, 
Wm. Fletcher. 1809, Rich'd McAllaster, Dexter Gibbs, Shere- 
biah Gibbs, Jonathan Marbles, Isaac L. Hiichoock, Timothy 
Ruggles, Jesse Jackson, Daniel Heairi, John Pease. 1810, 
Amasa Sartwell, Almond Beecher, Wm. Fletcher, Dulhan Kings- 
bury, Harrison Mosley. 181 1, Oliver Howell, Lemuel Hubbard, 
Anson Cummings, John White, Levi Wheelock. 1812, Wra. 
Harris, Wm. McAllaster, Daniel Sterling, Salmon White, War- 
ren Streeter, Wm. Randall, Elkanah Pattridge, Ira Ward, Asher 
Seymour, Roswell Wilder, Bcnj. Goodwin, Llliot Lynde, Daniel 
Gill, Caleb Cheney, Henry C. Baldwin, James Briggs, Silas 
Brooks, Shailer Beckwith, Silas Ward, Ezra Church. In 1808, 
David Parish,* an eminent banker of Hamburgh, made exten- 
sive purchases in Northern New York, including 29,033 acres 
in this town. Mr. Jenison was continued in ihe agency until 
8uccee«led by Sylvius Hoard. In April, 1824, the present agent, 
Mr. Wm. McAllaster was appointed. 

Soon after Mr. Parish had purchased, the p^reatest alarm was 
spread through the settlement of Antwerp and Rossie, by (he 

* A biographical sketch of Mr. David Parish and his brother George, are 
given in the Hist. St. Lawrence and Franklin Co^s, p. 600. 

88 AnMerp* 

misrepresentations of a vicious minded person, who bad previ- 
ously been employed as an agent for selling one of the townships 
o< St Lawrence County, and had deliberately perpetrated a vil- 
iianly in the execution of his trusts, for which there was no 
iniely redress. With no assignable motive but a morbid love 
of mischief, he visited some of the settlers, and announced that 
thty had now changed masters, and would soon know what it 
was to be in the hands of a tyrant; that their dues would be ex- 
acted with vigor ^ 2LiiA forthwith, or they would be stripped of 
their property and turned off destitute from their homos. This 
alarming announcement, coming from one wbo figured largely 
in public affairs, spread an alarm through the settlement, and 
when they were shortly after visited by Mr. Joseph Rosseel, 
agent of the new purchaser, the excitement was intense. He 
immediately set himself at work in restoring confidence with the 
people, visited them in their houses, shared in their homely fare, 
entered into all their little plans and amusements, attended their 
parties, and by a persevering course of familiarity and kindness, 
soon succeeded in counteracting the mischief which the slander- 
ous villian had occasioned. 

On the arrival of Mr. Parish, he visited every family, and as- 
sured them that they might depend upon any indulgence that 
might be reasonably asked. The sincerity of this promise they 
never found reason to distrust. 

Mr Parish adopted the plan of giving contracts entitling to 
deeds upon payment, while Morris had commenced giving deeds, 
and taking back mortgages. The early sales were conditioned 
to the clearing of a certain portion of land, and the erection of a 
house, and shortly after the mineral wealth of the town began 
to be known, a clause was inserted in the contracts, reserving all 
mines of iron, copper, and lead. The foim of reservation now 
adopted was drawn up with the counsel of several eminent law- 
yers, and is as follows: " And such conveyance thereof, to con- 
tain an express exception and reservation, of all mines or ores 
of iron, copper, or lead, plumbago, zinc, tin and silver, and all 
beds of coaX marble, gypsum, copper and waterlimestone, and 
all mineral springs, which may be upon, under, or within, the 
limits of the said above described parcel of land; and also an ex- 
press reservation to the grantor, to be threin named, and to his 
and their heirs and assigns forever, of the right and privilege to 
search and dig on any and every part of the said premises, for 
such minerals, or ores, and if found, to raise, wash, remove and 
take away the same to his, or their own benefit, and to use and 
employ ail proper means for these, or any of these purposes: the 
said grantor covenanting, or agreeing, on his part and behalf, 
to muce just, reasonable and fuU compensation, to * * * for all 

Acre* Con. 

Sums Dne. 





Antwerp. 89 

SQch damage, if any, as be, or they may sustain, by reason of 
any such search or digging, whether in respect to any dwell* 
ing, or other buildings, or improvements on -the said lands, or in 
respect to the cultivation of the same in consequence of any injury 
to the soil thereof.^' 

The following table will show the rate at which the Parish 
tract in this town has been settled, nearly every acre of which, 
has been either deeded or contracted. 

Acreg Con. Sums Dae. 

14,084, $93,769. 
9,330, 57,647. 
6,089, 38,039. 

At present rates, the town will be entirely settled up at the 
land office in seven or eight years. 

In 1808, a party of militia, under Captain Timothy Tamblin^ 
was stationed near the intersection of the two great roads 
leading into St. Lawrence County, a mile north of the village, 
to prevent smuggling under the embargo law. There was much 
opposition both in theory and practice to this law. An instance 
is related in which a practical joke of a somewhat serious nature, 
was played off upon one of these guardians of the national 
welfare. A person to whom the law was odious, having set a 
trap in his sleigh, and placed around it a loading calculated to 
convey the impression that they were smuggled goods, ap- 
proached the guard, but warned those on duty to keep away 
from his load, or they would get into trouble. Not deterred by 
this threat, one of the guard proceeded rudely to overhaul the 
sleigh, to ascertain its contents, and was soon convinced that it 
at least concealed a trap, for it sprung upon his hand, at which 
the driver gave reins to his team and drove off exclaiming: 
"I've caught a Democrat!" Soon after the news of the war 
reached the town, the inhabitants Concerted measures for self- 
protection by building a block house, which stood in the street, 
m front of T. R. Pratt's present hotel. It was used a short 
time by the inhabitants, but the terror which the news of 
war first occasioned soon subsided, and it was demolished. 
During the war, a company of regular troops was stationed a 
little north of Antwerp Village, to prevent smuggling into the 
country from Canada. The inducements which led to this were 
so strong, that much ingenuity was exercised in evading the 
vigilance of sentinels, and sometimes with great succesSi^ Five 
or six sleigh loads of tea, had on a certain occasion been got to 
within three or four miles of Antwerp, having passed thu3^ far 
without suspicion from the tea being p^cke4 in bags, like grain 


90 Antwerp* 

on its way to market. To evade the military guard that ob- 
structed the road, the following stratagem was adopted. Captain. 
B. who had charge of the company, was invited to a whist 
party at Cook's Tavern, three miles north of Antwerp, at 
which place, during the evening, a large party of boys and 
young men assembled, with no apparent object but to spend the 
evening in carousing, drinking and card playing. Brandy cir- 
culated freely, and the revels continued till a late hour in the 
night, when the captain and his party set out to return in a 
sleigh closely followed by the loads of t^a, thickly covered by a 
disorderly crowd, who by singing, shouting, quarreling, and 
fighting, made the night hideous with unearthly discords, and 
would readily pass as a half drunken rabble returning from a 
midnight revel. The captain, who was himself rather more 
than half intoxicated, entered with spirit into the merriment of 
the others, and as the train approached the sentinels, he shouted: 
"Its Captain B., let my company pass." The order was obeyed, 
and the disorderly mob passed on, and having got beyond reach 
of danger, they left the teams to pursue their course in quiet, 
and in due time boasted of the success of their stratagem. 

In December 1816, preparations were begun under direction 
of Parish, for the erection of a forge, on Indian River, a mile 
above Antwerp Village. A road, a dam, a forge, and a house, 
were built soon after, and the forge continued two or three years 
with no profit. In 1824 a distillery was commenced at the same 
place, and kept in operation from 1825, till the death of George 
rarish in 1839, running mostly during the fall, winter and spring 
months, and consuming from Jan. 1826 till May 1839 (except 
1829, 30, during a part of which years it was not run) 72,114 
bushels of corn, 40,074 of rye, 4,423 of rye malt, 2,370 ot rye 
flour, 663 of barley malt, 108 of crushed barley, and 4,899 pounds 
of hops, and making more than half a million of gallons of proof 
whiskey. From 60 to 125 head of cattle were fattened here 
annually during the winter months, and in the summer sometimes 
a large number of swine. Corn and rye were purchased at from 
56 cts. to a dollar a bushel, the average being about 63 cts., and 
barley at from 75 cts. to a dollar. These works were erected 
and superintended by Wm. McAUaster, as agent for Geo. Parish, 
and afforded a home market for grain and cattle, which enabled 
farmers to pay for their lands much sooner than would otherwise 
have been possible, although the pernicious influence of this 
business upon the public morals, has doubtless been much greater^ 
than the benefits conferred. 

In 1834 a grist mill was built by Mr. Parish, near the distillery, 
which with the adjacent property was purchased by James Stei^ 
ling, in 1846, and a furnace erected 28 feet square, and 32 feet 

Antwerp. 91 

high, which was at first fitted for the hot, but which has since 
1849 been run with the cold blast. It has been run upon ore 
from the Sterling mine in this town, only so much of other qua- 
lities of ore being used as is necessary for its proper reduction. 
Castings have not been made at the furnace, but a foundry has 
been got in operation near by, under the direction of other parties. 
This locality is about four miles from the mine, from which ore 
is drawn at 50 cts. per ton. A small village has grown up around 
the premises, which has acquired the local name of Sterlingburgh. 
There are, besides the furnace and mills, a plaster mill, and a 
few shops and dwellings. 

Antwerp Village is 6 miles from Philadelphia, 10 from The- 
resa, 7 from Ox Bow, 7 from Somerville, 16 from Carthage, 8 
from Sterlingville, 13 from Great Bend, and 22 from Watertown. 
The Potsdam and Watertown rail road, now building, passes 
through the village, and it has plank roads leading tb Gouvemeur, 
Rossie, Great Bend, and Carthage, each of which connect with 

The Village of Antwerp was incorporated under the general 
act, in pursuance of an order of the court of sessions, and con- 
firmed at a special election, held July 30, 1853, by a vote of 53 
to 3. The limits of the corporation embrace 660 acres of land. 
There are in the village, churches of the Baptist, Catholic, and 
Presbyterian orders, three hotels, six or seven stores, a great va- 
riety of mechanics, and about 500 inhabitants. 

The village of Ox Bow, near the north line of the town, is 
pleasantly situated on a remarkable bend of the Oswegatchie 
River, which gives name to the place. The first settler here was 
Peter Vroomao, from Johnstown, who located on the old state road, 
in the north part of the village, about 1803. From its b§ing at 
the convergence of several important roads, which the natural 
features of the country compelled to pass here, it has, without 
other advantages, become a small village of two inns, two stores, 
a few mechanic shops, and forty or fifty families. It has a church, 
belonging to the Associate Reformed order. The scenery around 
this village is remarkably fine, and the shores of neighboring 
lakes, possess a romantic interest from the numerous problems in 
geology that they present. As an inviting field for the collection 
of minerals, this vicinity is unrivalled, and in our chapter on the 
mineral resources of the county, the species and varieties found 
here, will be enumerated. This village is on the plank road, 
between Antwerp and Hammond, and is the terminus of one 
leading to Evans' Mills and Watertown. It is 7 miles from Rossie, 
10 from Theresa, 16 from Evans' Mills, 11 from Philadelphia,? 
from Antwerp, 4 from Somerville, and 8 from Gouvemeur, by way 
of Wegatchie, or Church's Mills. About half a m\i^ UooK the 

99 Antwerp. 

Tillage, on the plank road towards Evans' Mills, [is a singular 
precipice of gneiss rock, sixty or seventy feet high and quite 
perpendicular, upon the face of which is the section of a remark- 
able excavation, similar to the pot holes Ibund in lime stone 
rocks, and worn by the rotation of pebbles in water. The fol- 
lowing figure from Prof. Emmons's report on the geology of the 
2nd district, represents accurately the shape of the eX(;avalioD, 
but fails (o impart an adequate idea of the grandeur of the as- 
sociated scenery. 

Polpil Rock, 

When the settlements were new, meetingswere, it is said, held 
at the foot of this cliff, the cavity serving as a pulpit, from 
whence was derived tlie name. 

For mineral wealth, Antwerp stands unrivaled in the county. 
Being underlaid mostly by primary rock, and the border of the 
lowest sedimentary formations, it alibrds at several points, mines 
that are wrought with great profit, and at others, strong indica- 
tions of ores which have not been yet explored. Of minerals in- 
teresting to the man of science, but without practical value, the 
number is large. So much as relates to the history of these 
mines will be given here, while their geological relations will 
he detailed in our chapter on that subject. 

Antwerp. 93 

A quarry was opened in a ledge of gneiss, on the old state road, 
between Mr. Cook's place, and Ox Bow, in 1805, by David Cof- 
feen, and James Parker, for the manufacture of mill stones. The 
business was followed more or less, a part of each year, till about 
1828, during which time nearly 100 pair were made, and sold in 
adjoining counties, or sent westward. The price of a pair ready 
for hanging, was generally $100. Boulders of gneiss, were often 
used in making mill stones in the county, at an early day, some 
of which were found to answer a good purpose. 

Specular iron ore, had been wrought in the adjoining town of 
Rossie, since 1812, and many unsuccessful expenditures had been 
made in this, when, in 1836, a locality was reported to have been 
found 00 an island in the midst of a swamp, on the farm of Hope- 
fltiU Foster, 3 miles north of Antwerp Village. This was covered 
by the landlord's reserve, but from the unsuccessful issue of all 
trials in this town, Mr. Parish attached but little import- 
to the discovery, and for $200 sold his interest to James 
^t Sterlings and others. This, upon opening, has proved a mine of 
inmeDse value, yielding ore of rich quality, and in unknown 
amount. The statistics of this mine can not be accurately ob- 
teioed, but it has mainly supplied the furnace at Sterlingville 
■oce 1837, that at the distillery, since 1846, and for a year or 
two another at Sterlingsburh (Louisburgh), Lewis County, be- 
loBging to Mr. Sterling. The ore is wrought by men hired by 
the month, and the mine is opened to the day. It is drained by 
horse pumps, but from its being surrounded by swamp, will always 
be incommoded by water, especially when the mine is sunk to a 
coasiderable depth. It h^s not hitherto been necessary to elevate 
the ore by machinery. About a half a mile south of this, is 
another mine, belonging to Parish, known as the White ore bed^ 
from the owner of the farm where it occurs. One mile from 
Antwerp Village, on the farm of Nathan W. Ward, is another, 
which has been known to exist many years, but has been only 
worked since 1852. From 700 to 800 tons have, it is said, been 
taken from this mine. 

On the farm of Hiram B. Keene, a short distance from the 
county line, and in the same range with the great mines in Ros- 
8te, and Gouverneur, there were found about 1837, indications 
that led to the discovery of a mine, on land not covered by reserve. 
It was traced into a neighboring field, of which the land holder 
held the reserve, and heavy mining operations have been since 
conducted on both sides of the line but most extensively on that 
owned by Parish. The ore here dips at an angle of about forty 
five degrees, and is overlaid by a coarse sandstone, that is sup- 
ported by huge masses of ore, left by the miners. This mine is 
the only one of iron in this section of the state, that is wrought 

94 Antwerp. 

under ground by lamps. ' The portion first discovered, has been 
lately sold for $3000. 

Marble of a coarse texture, but suited for many purposes of 
architecture, occurs in vast quantities in Antwerp, but no effort 
has hitherto been made to turn it to a useful account, further 
than as a material for lime, and a flux for iron ores. Black and 
variegated Rensselaerite, and Serpentine, of fine quality, occur 
in town, and may hereafter be brought into use as ornamental 
marbles. Indications of copper ore have been found, but none 
in profitable quantities. Potsdam sandstone of a quality suited 
for the lining of furnaces, has been wrought extensively for this 
purpose on the farrm of Mr. Keene, near the north line of the 
town. This town has three post offices, viz: Jlntwerp, Ox Bow 
and Bentley^s Corners, the latter being on the Ox Bow and 
Evans' Mills Plank Road, four miles from the former place. 

The Aivtwerp Delphic Library was formed March 13, 1832, 
with Charles B. Hoard, Wm. McAllaster, R. N. Randall, Sam'l 
Gains, and Levi Miller, trustees. It has, like most others of 
the class, been given up, since the formation of school district 

Religious Societies, The first house of worship in town, and 
the second one in the county, was built of brick, in the village 
of Antwerp, at the sole expense of Mr. Parish, in 1816-17, and 
was for many years occupied by different denominations. In 
March, 1849, it was sold to the Catholics, for $600, and has 
since been used by them alone. Our statistics of the denomina- 
tions in town is defective, from failure to receive facts that had 
been promised.* The first Presbyterian Society w^as formed 
April 29, 1819, with Silvius Hoard, John C. Foster, Wm. and 
Samuel Randall, Smith Copeland, and Luther Conklin, trustees. 
A church had been formed previously, and in June, 1819, had 
been received into the St. Lawrence Presbytery, on the applica- 
tion of Rev. Ziba Tuttle, their minister. The society was re- 
organized October 5, 1824, with Hiram Murdcok, Benajah and 
William Randall, Zebina Smith, Jeremy Stimson, and Josiah 
Drake, Jr., trustees. Among the clergy, here, have been Cal- 
vin Wait, Rufus R. Deming, and others. Charles B. Pond is 
the present^pastor. In 1850 the society erected, in the north 
part of the village, an elegant church edifice, that will compare 
favorably with any in the county. The Ox Bow Presbyterian 
Society of Antwerp and Rossie, was formed May 15, 1820, with 
Abraham Cooper, Abraham Lewis, Reuben Streeter, James 
Ormiston, James Douglas, Orren Matthews, Percival Hawley, 
and Abner Benton, trustees. A church was formed the same 

*See note in appendix. 

BrownviUe. 95 

summer, at first having about 40 members, which soon united 
with the St. Lawrence Presbytery, then embracing this county. 
It has since united with that of Ogdensburgh. The Rev. James 
Sandford was installed Sept. 5, 1820, and has been employed 
many years. The society have no house of worship. The 
Methodist Chapel of the first society in Antwerp, was formed 
Nov. 2, 1832, with Samuel Cook, Isaac Sprague, Wm. Chalor, 
Daniel and Wm. Shepard, Theodore Cross, George Lum, Asher 
Seymour, and Daniel Brown, trustees. The Sprague's Corner 
Methodist society was formed Jan. 12, 1837, with Elijah Steele, 
Jr., Abel Goodnough, Isaac Sprague, John Brown, Wm. Howe, 
Martin Mitchel, and Samuel Kelsey, trustees. They the same 
year built a chapel, at a co&t of about $1,000. A Methodist 
society was formed at Ox Bow, May 14, 1833, with A. Lewis, 
Ira D. Shepherd, Wm. H. Collar, Samuel Bonfy, and Ebenezer 
Birdsley, trustees. They have never erected a church. 

A Baptist society was formed February 23, 1836, with David 
Manning, Obadiah Chamberlain, and Joseph Palmer, trustees, 
and has a church edifice in Antwerp village. An organization 
bad been formed previously, which, in lo25, united with the 
Black River Association, and has since regularly reported. The 
Antwerp and Fowler Union Society (Baptist), was formed Sept. 
11, 1838, with Amos Sheldon, Alexander Wright, J. H. Boz- 
worth, Leonard Pike, Ansel Clark, and Moses Burge, trustees, and 
soon after built a church near the county line, at Steele's Corners. 

A Wesley an Methodist society was formed Sept. 1, 1845, at 
Sprague's Corners, with Allen Woodward, Emor Bell, and Abel 
Groodnough, trustees. They have a small chapel. 

The Associate Reformed Church of Antwerp and Rossie, was 
formed at the Ox Bow, May 22, 1837, with Andrew Culbertson, 
John Barrow, Robert Darling, James Dickson, Wm. TurnbuU, 
and Wm. Fleming, trustees. It was reorganized April 7, 1840. 
This society has a neat church edifice of stone, fronting on the 
public square in the village of Ox Bow. It is principally com- 
posed of Scotch emigrants, many families of whom are settled 
io this and the adjoining town of Rossie. 


Was erected from Leyden, April 1, 1802, embracing all north 
of Black River, from a line running from the northwest comer 
of Champion, N. 45^ E., to the southwesterly bounds of the 
county of St. Lawrence. The first town meeting was directed to 
be held at the house of Jacob Brown. Adams and Rutland were 
erected by the same act. It was named after Jacob Brown, after- 
wards Major General of the army, the first settler and general 
land agent The first town meeting was held at the house of 

96 BrownviUe* 

Samuel and Jacob Brown, and adjourned to Brownville Hotel, 
March 1, 1803, at which the following town officers were elected: 
Jacob Brown, supervisor; Isaac Collins, clerk; John W. Collins, 
Rich'd Smith, and Peter Pratt, assessors; J. W. Collins, Ozias 
Preston, Samuel Starr, commissioners highways; 0. Preston, 
Richardson Avery, Henry A. Delamater, Samuel Brown, Benj. 
Brown, Wm. Rogers, Abijah Putnara,yence viewers; S. Brown, 
S. Starr, overseers of the poor; S. Brown, Sanford Langworthy, 
Caleb J. Bates, Sylvanus Fish, H. A. Delamater, Fred'k Sprague, 
Geo. Waffle, Etbni Evans, pathmasters ; J. W. Collins, H. A. 
Delamater, and S. Brown, poundmasters. 

Supervisors — 1803, Jacob Brown; 1804, 5, John W. Collins; 
1806, 7, Jacob Brown; 1808, J. W. Collins; 1809, 10, John 
Brown; 1811, 12,JosiahFarrar; 1813, John Brown; 1814. Joseph 
Clark; 1815, John Brown; 1816, 17, Walter Cole; 1818, Geo. 
Brown Jr.; 1819, 20, Hoel Lawrence; 1821-28, Walter Cole; 
1829-33, Geo. Brown (of Perch River); 1834, 35, Aaron Shew; 
1836, 37, Walter Cole; 1838, Mahlon P. Jackson; 1839. 40, 
Alanson Skinner; 1841, Wm. Lord; 1842, 43, A. Skinner; 1844, 
45, Chas. B. Avery; 1846, A. Skinner; 1847, Chas. B. Avery; 
1848, Arba Strong; 1849, Cyrus Allen; 1850, Tho's. L. Knapp, 
C. Allen, special meeting; 1851, Cyrus Allen; 1852, Samuel 
, Middleton, 2nd; 1853, Charles K. Loomis. 

At a special meeting, Jan. 29, 1818, the town petitioned for a 
tax upon themselves of $2000, towards building a bridge at Wil- 
liamstown(Pamelia) Village, and another at Brownville Village. 
John Brown, Joseph Clark, and Thomas Loomis, were appointed 
commissioners for this purpose. In 1813 a law had also been 
passed for the erection of bridges, by a tax upon this and adjacent 

During 15 years a poor tax has been voted, making an aggre- 
gate of $5,790, and in 1835 the poor money on hand was applied 
to schools. In 32 years, money has been raised for bridges, 
usually $250, per annum, and amounting to $9,050. In 1846 
money was raised to build a bridge over Perch River, near its 
mouth, and in 1835, 1848, 49, 50, to build one at Fish Island, in 
the village of Dexter. 

Bounties on wolves of $5, were offered in 1807 — 1818; of $8 
in 1821; of $10 in 1806, 8, 9, 11, 12,20; of $15 in 1804, 
13, 19; of $20 inl8jl5, 16; and of $25 in 1814, 17. Fox bounties 
of $1, in 1815,20, 21; of $2-50 in 1817, 19; and of 50cts. in 
1833, were offered. In 1806 a bounty of 10, and in 1807 of $5 
was offered for panthers. 

At the annual town meeting in 1820, which was held at Perch 
River, after electing a portion of the oflScers, the meeting ad- 
journed to the house of Edward Arnold, on Penet Square, till the 

BrownviUe. 97 

next day. This measure created much excitement, and thos^ 
liTing in the southern and eastern portions of the town, rallied 
with all their forces, attended promptly at the earliest moment 
of the adjourned meeting, organized, and immediately voted an* 
other adjournment to the house of £lias Bennet at Brown villa 
Village, on the afternoon of the same day, where the vote for 
town clerk was reconsidered, and the remaining officers elected. 
Being thus robbed of their town meeting, the settlers on Penet's 
Square and in distant localities, demanded a separate organization, 
which was readily consented to, and all parties having met at an 
informal meeting, or convention, at the village, agreed upon a 
petition to the legislature, which was acted upon, before another 
town meeting. The foregoing is a concise statement of the act 
of ^^stecUing a tovm meeting j*^ which gave rise to much talk at 
the time, and about which many fabulous stories have been re- 
lated. It is said that this heinous crime of robbery was made the 
subject of a painting, that formed a part of a traveling exhibition. 

At the town meeting, in 1821, the clerk read three notices for 
the division of the town, which were not voted. The first was 
to annex a part of Brownville to Pamelia; the second, a part of 
Brownville to I^e Ray, and the third to erect four new towns 
from Brownville and Le Ray. In 1822, a motion to annex Pa- 
melia to Brownville was defeated. 

This town was first explored, with a view of settlement, by 
Jacob Brown, afterwards % distinguished citizen, who, while 
teaching a school in New York, had met with Rodolph Tillier, 
the general agent for the Chassanis lands, and was induced to 
purchase a large tract, and become the agent for commencing a 
settlement, at a time when the difficulties attending such an en- 
terprise were very great. Having engaged in this business, he 
repaired in February, 1799, to the location of the French com- 
pany, at the High Falls, and made several journeys to Utica, 
i^hen, having completed his arrangements, and collected provis- 
ions at the Long Falls, he in March, 1799, passed down the old 
French road, in company with three or four hired men, and hap- 
pening to reach the river at the mouth of Philomel Creek, he 
was charmed with the prospect of a water power, apparently 
perennial, and at once decided upon stopping here. He com- 
menced clearing land, having sent for his father's family, who 
started on the 22d of April, from Bucks County, Pa., and after 
stopping a few days at New York and Schenectady, and hiring 
at Litica an extra boat, at length arrived at the location on the 
17th of May, 1799, having been nearly three weeks on the road. 
George BrOwn, a relative, came on in the same company, with 
a part of his family, making, with the boatmen, a party of 
nearly twenty. The boatmen soon retiurned, leaving one boat 

98 BrownviUe. 

that served the means for communication with Kingston, from 
whence they derived most of their provisions, the stock left at 
the Long Falls having been sold. When this company had ar- 
rived, the first had cleared a small piece, and got up the body 
of a log house, twenty feet square, which occupied the site of 
the hay scales on the edge of the bank, in the village, and the 
same season they put up the body of a two-story log liouse, 25 
by 30, on the ground now covered by the store of Wm. Lord. 
This was not, however, completed for occupation till the spring 
of 1801. In the fall of 1800 a saw mill was built at the mouth 
of Philomel Creek, the millwrights being Noah Durrin and Eb- 
enezer Hills, and late in the fall of 1801 a grist mill was built 
for Mr. Brown, by Ethni Evans, afterwards the pioneer of 
Evans' Mills. A few goods were brought on with the first family, 
but in the fall of the same year, Jacob Brown went to New 
York, on other business, and selected a small stock better adapt- 
ed to the market. In 1799, a great number came in to look lor 
lands, many of whom selected farms on Perch River, and between 
that place and BrownviUe, where they commenced small clear- 
ings, and made arrangements for removal with their families in 
the spring. Among these w^ere John W. Collins, Richardson 
Avery, Nathan Parish, Horace Mathers, and others. In the 
summer of 1800, a great number settled, and the clearings had 
extended from the bank of the river nearly half a mile. The 
first settlers on Perch River incurred#n obligation to cleara cer- 
tain amount of lapd, and build a house. 

The first bridge at BrownviUe was built at a cost of $1,000, 
on subscription, by Oliver Bartholomew, in the summer of 1802. 
It was below the present mills, at the mouth of Philomel Creek, 
and being swept off in a flood in 1806, was in 1807 rebuilt by 
the same person, at the present bridge. The village, in Sept., 
]805, contained 25 houses, and was rapidly improving, and the 
next year a dam was first built across Black River at this place, 
a little below the present dam. John Brown (afterwards Judge 
Brown), a brother of Jacob, at an early day bought the lands 
adjacent to the village, south of the river, and erected mills. 
The mills and store were at first owned by Jacob Brown, and his 
father, Samuel,* but afterwards his brother of that name became 
the merchant. The village for some years grew more rapidly 
than any in the county, and until after the location of the public 
buildings at Walertown, it exhibited more thrift and business 
than that place. Much importance was attached, at an early 
day, to the navigation of Black River below this place, which 
was naturally difficult, on account of a rapid at Fish Island (now 
Dexter's), and in 1810 an act was passed, incorporating the 

*S. Brown, Sen., died at BrownviUe Sept. 24, 1813. 

BrownvUle. 99 

Black River Navigation Company, of which it appears, from 
a paper recorded in the clerk's oifice June 5, 1810, that the fol- 
lowing persons were subscribers, with the number of shares, at 
$10, taken by each: Samuel Brown, Jr., 20; Jacob Brown, 35; 
Micah Sterling, 10; Benjamin Skinner, 10; John Brown , 20; 
Wm. M. Lord, 20; Judah Williams, 10; Samuel yiarr7'2b; Jo- 
seph Starling, 10; Wm. Hunter, 10; Richard M. Esselstyn, 10; 
James Shields, 5; Gersham Tuttle, 5; Thomas M. Converse, 5; 
Amasa Trowbridge, 10. The commissioners were Ethel Bronson, 
John Brown, Wm. M. Lord and Thomas M. Converse. On the 
8th of March, 181 1, the company received an amendment of 
their charter, by which the president and directors were to ap- 
point a collector, who should receive from every boat of five 
tons and upwards, 25 cents per ton, and for small boats not more 
than 50 cents per ton, for going and returning, provided the re- 
ceipts shall not exceed 14 per cent on the capital invested. 
The company was required to finish their work within three 
years, and were empowered to dispose of their surplus water as 
they might see fit. In 1812, and 1815, the time for completing 
the work was extended, and in the latter year wooden locks were 
built, sufficient to allow the passage of Durham boats. By an 
advertisement in the Sackets Harbor Gazette, dated May 1, 
1817, the public was informed that no higher tolls than 50 cents 
would be collected on a boat passing the locks. About 1828 
the project of building a steam boat, to ply between Brownville 
and ports on the river and lake, being in discussion, stone locks 
were built in place of the wooden ones, which had decayed. 
The steamer BrowamUe was built in the summer of 1827 by a 
company, the original parties of which were Turner & Dodd, 
but Wm. S. Ely, Wm. Lord, Edmund Kirby and Hoel Lawrence, 
of this place, with parties in Oswego and Ogdensburgh, became 
afterwards interested, from having made advances. It had a 
keel 80 feet, beam 20 feet, and depth of hold 6^ feet, with a bur- 
den of 100 tons, and engines of 35 to 40 horse power. She was 
built at the village, on the north side, and having with difficulty 
passed the locks, was burned to the water's edge, on her first 
trip to Ogdensburgh, but was run upon an island, and her crew 
saved. The hull was towed back to Brownville, and rebuilt by 
Capt E. B. Dodd, and after a short time was sold at Sackets 
Harbor, and the name changed to the William ^very. The vil- 
lage of Dexter, six miles from Sackets Harbor, has long since 
been regarded as the head of navigation on Black River. 

On the announcement of the declaration of war, Brownville 
became the seat of much activity and excitement, from its being 
the head quarters of General Brown, who had the personal di- 
rection of military operations on this frontier during most of 

100 Broumville. 

the first season. A hospital was established here, and troops 
were stationed in the village and vicinity at various times during 
that period. The greatest alarm prevailed throughout the 
country upon the arrival of the first tidings of war, but this 
soon wore away. 

The inhabitants living on Perch River, on receiving the news of 
the war, were greatly alarmed, from their supposed exposure on 
the frontier, and some of the timid ones resolved to leave the coun- 
try. To dissuade them from this, it was proposed to build a block 
house, which was forthwith done by voluntary labor, but when 
completed, only served as a storehouse for the wheat of a neigh- 
bor. Some ridiculing the idea of danger, humorously proposed 
to post themselves on the brow of some of the limestone ledges 
towards Catfish Creek, in the direction of Canada, which would 
give them the double advantages of a commanding position, 
and an abundance of material for missies, in case of attack. 
This had its effect, and after a few weeks' reflection the idea of 
Indian massacre was forgotten. It will be remembered that 
many of the older inhabitants had realized in their youth the 
horrors of Indian warfare, and the tales of midnight massacre 
which they related as they assembled on evenings for mutual 
safety, enhanced, in no small degree, this timidity. Still the 
alarms which prevailed in this county were far less than those 
that spread through the St. Lawrence settlements, and as after- 
wards appeared in Canada itself, where nearly every family 
along the river had been fugitives from the desolating hand of 
war, from their adherence to the royal cause in the revolution. 
The apprehensions of both parties soon subsided, and men re- 
sumed their customary pursuits, except when occasional drafts, 
or general alarms, called out the militia, or the emergencies of 
the service required the assembling of teams for the transporta- 
tion of munitions of war. Prices of produce were, of course, 
extremely high, and from the large amount of government money 
expended here, the basis of many fortuhes in the county were 
laid at that period. 

On the 16th of April, 1828, the public was aroused by the report 
of a murder, committed in the Perch River settlement in this town, 
by Henry Evans, upon Joshua Rogers and Henry Diamond, in an 
affair growing out of an attempt to forcibly eject Evans without 
legal formality from premises leased by a brother of Rogers. A 
family quarrel had for some days existed in the Rogers' family, 
in which Evans had taken a part, and at the time of the murder 
the parties had been drinking, and were unusually quarrelsome. 
Evans bad shut himself up in his house, which was forcibly 
entered, with threats and abusive language, upon which he 
seized an axe, and mortally wounded two, and badly wounded 

BrcfwtmUe. 101 

a third, who recovered. He was immediately arrested, and at 
the June term of the court of Oyer and Terminer, in 1828, was 
tried, Jthe court consisting of Nathan j^ miiams, circuit judge^ 
Egbert Ten Eyck, Jlrst judge^ Joseph Hawkins, judge, Robert 
Lansing, district attorney, H. H. Sherwood, clerk y H. H. Coffeen, 
sheriff. The district attorney was assisted by Mr. Clarke, and 
the prisoner was defended by Messrs. Sterling, Bronson, and 
Rathbone. The vicious temper and abandoned character of the 
prisoner, who, whether drunk or sober, had been the terror of his 
neighborhood, outweighed the extenuating circumstances of the 
case, and the jury, after half an hour's deliberation, returned a 
verdict of guilty. He was sentenced to be hung, August 22d, 
and he was executed in the presence of an immense crowd, who 
had assembled to witness the barbarous spectacle, from this and 
adjoining counties. The gallows was placed on the north bank 
of the river, nearly opposite the Court House. His body was 
taken by his friends to Brownville, and a^grave dug in the ceme- 
tery, when objections were raised, and one person swore that he 
should not be buried there. Another place was then got, but 
the rock was reached in two feet. A grave was next dug just 
outside of the corporate limits, when as he was about to be 
lowered, objections were again raised, and one or two women 
were seized with hysteric fits, because the locality was in sight. 
The corpse was finally taken back three or four miles from the 
village and buried by night. The lamentable prevalence of 
superstition thus evinced, has its equal only in the popular belief 
in vampires, which, on more than one occasion, has disgraced 
the annals of this and neighboring counties. 

The Village of Brownville was incorporated April 5, 1828. 
The act provided for the election of five'trustees, three assessors, 
one treasurer, one collector and one constable annually, on the 
first Moftday in May. The trustees were vested with the usual 
powers in relation to a fire department, assessments for internal 
improvements, &c. The following officers were chosen at the 
first election: Thomas Loomis, Jr., Hoel Lawrence, George 
Brown, Peleg Burchard and Tracy S. Knapp, trustees; Wm. S. 
Ely, Asa Whitney, Wm. Lord, assessors; John A. Cathcart, 
treasurer; James Shields, collector; Levi Torrey, constable. 

Trustees of Brownville Village. — Those in italics were elected 

1829, Wm. S. Ely, Joel Blood, Joshua Heminway, Daniel 
Case, Hiram Mills. 

1830, Derrick Gibbons, Elias Bennett, Hoel Lawrence, Wm. 
S. Ely, J. Heminway. 

1831, H. Lawrence, J. Blood, Levi Torry, Wm. Hardy, Ed- 
mund Kirby. 

102 BroumviOe. 

1832, Edmund Kirhy» Amos R. Avery, Alanson Skinner, L. 
Torrey, G. Brown. 

1833, Wm. Lordj Wra. McCuUock, J. Heminway, J, Blood, 
Apollos Huntinp;ton. 

1834, George BrovMj E. Kirby, Wm. S. Ely, James Ballard, 
John A. Cathcart. 

1835, Arha Strongs G. Brown, J. Blood, J. Heminway, D. 

J 836, Alanson Skinner^ J. Blood, Arba Strong, John Bradley, 
J. Hcminwav. 

1837, J. Heminway y Judah Lord, A. Strong, A. Huntington, 
A. Skinner. 

1838, J. Bloody A. Skinner, A. Strong, D. Gibbons, Jesse 

1839, Jam^s Shields, A. Skinner, Henry Lord, D. Gibbons, 
Daniel Case« 

1840, Thomas Loomis^ A. Skinner, A. Strong, Wm. Lord, 
James R. Bates. 

1841, Wm, Lord, Tho's L. Knapp, A. Huntington, Daniel 
Case, John E. Brown. 

1843, Chas, K, Loomis, Edward Munson, Gilderoy Lord, 
John S. Chase, Geo. A. McKenzie 

1844, John Bradleyy J. Blood, J. E. Brown, Gideon Tilling- 
hast, Arba Strong. 

1845, Arba 'Strong, A. Skinner, D. Gibbons, Cha's P. Plumb, 
Apollos Huntington. 

1846, M. C. Loomis, S. W. Fields, D. Ainsworth, Alex'r 
Brown, C. P. Plumb. 

1847, John E. Browny A. Skinner, A. Strong, Ja's Shields, 
Joel G. Stacy. 

1848, E, Kirby. T. S. Knapp, A. Strong, J. Ayres. J. Bradley. 

1849, r. S, Knappy E. Kirby, A. Strong, Wm. Lord, A. Skin- 

1850, C. K. Loomisy Sam'l W. Field, G. Lord, J. Brown 
Kirby, H. Russ. 

1851, J. B. Kirby, G. Lord, L. W. Field, Heman Russ, Mor- 
rison C. Loomis. 

1852, James I. Hunt, G. Lord, J. B. Kirby, Heman Russ, 
Gustavus Codman. 

1853, Jesse AyreSy S. W. Field, W. B. Lord, James Skinner, 
Henry Lord. 

The village of Brownville, from its vicinity to lake navigation, 
vfras early considered an eligible point for the establishment of 
factories, and the enormous prices to which cotton goods had risen 
in consequence of the war, led to the plan of forming a cotton 
factory at this place. In 1811, a general act had been passed. 

BrmmviBe, 103 

for the encouragement of manufacturers, and availing themselves 
of this, a company was formed Feb. 9, 1814, of which the fol- 
lowing was the instrument of asM>ciation: 

" This may certify that we, the subscribers, have formed our- 
selves into a company, by the name and style of The Brownville 
Manufacturing Company, for the purpose of manufacturing 
cotton and wool, with a capital of $100,000, consisting of 
1,000 shares, under the direction of five trustees, viz: John 
Paddock, John Brown, Thomas Loomis, Jr., Thomas J. Whiteside, 
and Hoel Lawrence, who shall manage the concerns of said 
company, for one year, from the date hereof, in the town of 
Brownville, in the County of Jefferson." 

J. Ptiddocky J. Brown^ T, Loomis, Jr., T. J. Whiteside^ H» 
LatDrencey Henry Wm. Channing^ William S. Ely^ Silas Jay^ 
F. JV. Smith. 

They soon began the erection of a factory, which commenced 
operations the next year; but after a few months, finding they 
were losing money, they stopped, and the factory lay idle several 
years. It was subsequently bought by parties from Cooperstown, 
who procured an act incorporating the Brownville Cotton Fac^ 
tory^ April 6, 1831. Elizur Fairman, John A. Cathcart, Charles 
Smith, and such as might associate with them were by this con- 
stituted a body corporate for the manufacture of cotton and 
woolen goods, with a capital of $100,000, in shares of $50. 
The affairs were to be managed by three trustees, elected annu- 
ally, on the second Monday of April, the first being those named 
in the act, which was to continue twenty years. In 1842, this 
company was succeeded by a partnership, consisting of Charles 
Smith and William H. Averil, of Cooperstown, and F. W. 
Andrews; styled the Ontario Cotton Factory, which has since 
continued. It has 3,200 spindles, and 80 looms; and gives 
employment to about ninety hands. 

A company, styled the Jefferson Lead Manufacturing Co. 
with a capital of $15,000, was formed June 30, 1838, chiefly 
under the direction of Thomas L. Knapp; and the business of 
manufacturing white lead and lithic paints continued with 
varied success about twelve years. Since the death of Mr. 
Knapp, which occurred from cholera, at Pittsburgh, in 1851, the 
business has been abandoned. It was found to be extremely 
injurious to the health of the laborers, both the carbonate of lead, 
and the carbonic acid generated from charcoal for its manufac- 
ture, being directly poisonous to the system. 

A woolen factory owned by Bradley and Brown, was burnt in 
January 1846, with a machine shop, flax mill and other property. 
The village of Brownville affords a great amount of water power^ 
which is at present but partly improved by two grist mills, a saw 

104 BrownviUe. 

mill, clothing works, cotton factory, two extensive foundries and 
machine shops, saleratus factory cabinet shop &c. 

In many respects this village presents superior advantages for 
manufacturing establishments, as it has a direct communication 
by rail road with the markets, real estate is cheap, and the sur- 
rounding country affords in abundance, the means for supporting 
a large ix)puiation. At several points between this village and 
Watertown, fine opportunities for water power exist, which are 
at present entirely unimproved. At one of these, 1^ miles above 
this village, Mr. James Wood, originally from New Hampshire, 
about 1830, began the erection of a dam and woolen factory, 
which had been nearly completed, and partly stocked with ma- 
chinery, when it was swept off by the spring flood of 1833, prov- 
ing a total loss to the owner. 

At the head of Black River Bay, and favored by the double 
advantages of a fine water power and convenient harbor, is the 
village o^ Dexter, named in compliment to S. New^ton Dexter of 
Whitesboro, who has been extensively interested in the business 
of the place, which formerly bore the name of Fish Island, The 
lands in this vicinity were early purchased by John and Jacob 
Brown, who in 1811, commenced a dam, that was swept off, but 
rebuilt, and a saw mill was got in operation in February 1813. 
A large amount of lumber w^as made here during the war, for use 
at Sackets Harbor, and in 1815-16, wooden locks were built of 
sufficient size to admit boats 60 feet long and 13 feet wide to 
pass. About 1826, a grist mill was built by Jojm E> ^rown , and 
in 1837, the place contained a dozen houses. 

A joint stock company styled the Dexter Village Company^ 
was formed March 1, 1837, for the purpose of laying out a vil- 
lage on a tract of 249 acres south, and 800 acres north of the 
river. The original members of the company, were, Edmund 
Kirby, S. N. Dexter, John William s. John Bradley, and J. Brown. 
In 1840, the company commenced making dividends orthe prop- 
erty, and on the 6th of Jan. 1846, it was finally dissolved. 

On the 7th of November 1836,the Jefferson Woolen Comoany was 
formed with $100,000 capital, in shares of $100. It originally 
consisted of S. N. Dexter, of Whitesboro, Jo hl) Williams of 
yjjga, Edmund Kirby, and John Bradley, of Brownville, Kodney 
Burt, and 0. V. Brainard, of Watertown. The number of stock- 
holders was 59. In 1837 this company built the present extensive 
woolen factory, at a cost, including appendages and machinery, 
of $140,000, capital paid in $96,000. This enormous expen- 
diture, with the low prices which followed, could not be sustained, 
and in January 1842, the company failed, with liabilities exceed- 
ing assets of $33,000. The property was sold, and bid off by a 
new company, styled the Jefferson Manufacturing Company 

BrownviUe. 105 

forraed in Feb. 1842, with a capitalof $50,000, which is still in ope- 
ration. The main building is of stone, 50 by 170 feet, and four 
stories high, besides attic and basement, and is stocked with seven 
sets of cards, and a proportionate amount of machinery. The 
tuilding is of sufficient capacity to accommodate ten sets. It 
makes from 7000 to 8000 yards per month, and has been for a 
year or two run upon contract. It employs about 75 hands, and 
since the beginning has been principally employed in making 
broadcloths and cassimeres. 

The joint benefits of navigation and hydraulic privileges, have 
made Dexter a place of some importance. Besides the factory, 
there are three saw mills, a grist mill, with four run of stones, 
plaster mills, several establishments for turning, and manufactures 
of wood, and about 600 inhabitants. It has churches of the 
Episcopal, Uni versa! ist, and Presbyterian orders, and is the seat 
of a custom house. It has been a place of ship building to some 
extent; about a dozen schooners, the propellers James Wood, and 
Clifton, and the steamer Telegraph, having been built here. 
Extensive appropriations made by the general government, at 
about the time of the erection of the factory, were expended in 
the construction of piers at the mouth of the river, for the im- 
provement of the harbor. A cemetery association was Ibrmed 
under the general law Sept. 21, 1849, with James A. Bagley, 
Philander J. Welch, Sylvester Reed, Joseph D. Beals, Francis 
W. Winne, James A. Bell, Henry Bailey, and Francis Broad- 
bennett, trustees. 

By an act of April 8, 1836, a tax of $500 was directed to be 
laid upon Houndsfield, and a like sura upon BrownviUe, for the 
erection of a bridge over Black River at this place. 

Limerick^ on Perch River, l\ miles from Dexter, where the 
W^ & R. railroad crosses the stream, and on the old turnpike, is 
a small village, of a store, tavern, depot, and about a dozen dwel- 
lings; mills were built here at an early day, by Nelson, and after- 
wards owned by Shelley. The dam was found to flow the flats 
above, and render them sickly, when it was presented by the grand 
jury as a nuisance, and removed by order of the court. It was 
afterwards built below. From its central position, this place has 
been selected for holding town meetings for the last thirty years. 

Perch River, in this town, from the lake of that name to Lim- 
erick, meanders throu-^h a flat, which originally was flowed by 
several beaver dams, and in the early settlement of the country 
was too wet for cultivation, and gave rise to sickness from ma- 
laria. The evil was increased by a dam at Limerick. An act 
of March 30, 1827, authorized John Baxter, Abner Smith and 
Isaac Moffatt, to remove the bar or reef of rocks at the head of 
the rapids Id Perch River, to drain the lands, and in the March 


106 Brownvide. 

term of the circuit court, in 1829, the dam was decided as a 
nuisance, and directed to be destroyed. The summer of 1828, 
had been one of general sickness, near the river, there being 
scarcely well ones enough to care for the sick. The evil stiJl 
continuing, an act was passed May 26, 1841, providing for the 
draining of the drowned Jands, by a tax upon the property to be 
benefited, and Nicholas Lawyer, John Cole, Jr., Paul Anthony, 
Daniel Allen and J no. Webb, were appointed commissioners for 
carrying the act into effect. The lake has been lowered two feet 
by improvements since made; lands before covered with wild 
grass have been brought under cultivation, and the locality has 
since been considered healthy. Several thousand acres were 
taxed, at first 14, and afterward 20 cents per acre, to effect these 
improvements. Adjacent to Perch Lake in Orleans, is an ex- 
tensive cranberrv marsh, the surface of which is a quaking bog. 

Moffattville (Perch River P. 0.), on the west bank of Perch 
River, three miles from Limerick, is a hamlet of a dozen houses, 
a Union church, inn, two stores, and a few shops. It is in the 
midst of a highly cultivated district, but destitute of water power. 

Pillar Point, between Chaumont and Black River bays, owes 
its name to the peculiar manner in which the waters of the lake 
have worn grottoes in the cliffs, within tervening masses left, 
supporting the rock above. The shores of this point have 
afforded important seine fisheries, and at a small village locally 
named Brooklyn, opposite Sackets Harbor, is the post office of 
Pillar Pointy a Methodist Church, and a small collection of shops 
and dwellings. This point has been somewhat important for its 
ship building. 

The Brownville Library^ was formed under the general act, 
Feb. 10, 1807, with John Brown, John Baxter, Henry Cowley, 
John Simonds, Stephen Stanley, Isaac Pearse, and Thomas Y. 
Howe, trustees. This, and a subsequent association, have long 
since been dissolved. 

Religious Societies. — A Presbyterian church was organized 
March 18, 18 18, of eight members, Elam Clark, and Mr. Vander- 
bogart, being chosen elders. On the 10th of February, 1819, it 
was admitted to the Presbytery, and Sept. 14, 1820, the Rev. 
Noah M. Wells, was installed pastor. In the same year, the 
present stone church owned by the Episcopal society, was built 
as a union church, being largely owned by Presbyterians. The 
first trustees of this property, were Samuel Brown, H. Lawrence, 
Thomas Loomis, Jr., Wm. N. Lord, and George Brown, Jr. In 
1824, there occurred a revival under the preachings of the Rev, 
Charles G. Finney, during, and subsequent to which, an unpleas- 
ant division arose, and several influential citizens, taking excep- 
tions at what they deemed the extravagance to which these pro- 

BrownviUe. 107 

ceedings were carried, united in an Episcopal organization, under 
the Rev. Wm. Linn Keese, who had been sent by Bishop Hobart 
upon application, being made to him for that purpose. A legal 
society, under the name of SL Paul's Church, was formed Oct. 

13, 1§26, of which T. Y. Howe, and T. Loomis, were chosen 
wardensy and Asa Whitney, Tracy S. Knapp, Sylvester Reed, S. 
Brow^n, Wm. S. Ely, Peleg Burchard, Edmund Kirby, and Hoel 
Lawrence, vestrymen. Finding that the members of this society 
owned a majority of the stock in the church, which had been 
built by those of different orders, the remainder was purchased, 
and having been previously dedicated, by the Presbyterians, was 
fitted up and consecrated by the bishop, Aug. 12, 1828. Mr. 
Keese's successors have been Ezekiel G. Gear (Feb. 1831), A. C. 
Treadway (ofS. Harbor, not settled), Ferdinand Rodgers (Aug. 
1837), William H. Hill, Nov. 1846, and George B. Eastman, 
(Oct. 1851), the present rector. In 1834, the church received 
from Trinity Church New York, $500. This church reported in 
1853, 64 families and 292 individuals, belonging to the congre- 
gation, of whom 92 are communicants. 

Ml Saints Church in Dexter (Episcopal) was organized July 

14, 1839, with John Bradley, and Gillman Wood, wardens^ and 
Edmund Kirby, Jesse Babcock, Ora Haskill, Solon Stone, James 
A. Bell, Andrew Wood, Israel J. Griffin, and Robert Anderson, 
vestrymen. They have erected a church edifice and are com- 
monly supplied by the same f^lergyman as the church at Brown- 
viUe. The last report gives a total of 28 families, and 128 indi- 
viduals, belonging to it. 

The Presbyterians, on the 16th of May, 1825, organized a so- 
ciety with L. Gibson, S. Reed, and Wm. Clark, trustees, and in 
January, 1829, it was again organized. In 1832 a church edi- 
fice was built, at a cost of $2,000, and in ten years was l)urnt. 
In 1844 the present Presbyterian church in BrownviUe village 
was built, at a cost of $1,600, and in 1852 a session house ad- 
joining, at a cost of $350. The clergy have been, Noah W. 
Wells, James R. Boyd, John Sessions, E. H. Snowden, Dexter 
Clary, Calvin Yale, 0. P. Conklin, S. M. Wood and Sylvester 
Holmes, the latter being the present pastor of this church and 
one at Dexter. 

A Presbyterian church was organized at the latter place in 
1839, by the Watertown Presbytery, of eighteen members. A 
society was formed Sept. 24, 1842, with Joshua Eaton, Joseph 
Huntington, David H. Freeman, Harvey Crocker, and Levi 
Smith, trustees. A church was built in 1843-6, and the clergy 
have been Messrs. Conklin, Wood, Whitney and Holmes, being 
generally the same as those at BrownviUe. The present num- 
ber belonging to this church is fifty-nine, of whom eighteen 
are males. 

108 BrownviUe. 

The Brownville Baptist church (at Perch River), was organ- 
ized September 7, 1806, and at an ecclesiastical council, held 
at the house of John W. Collins, October 10,.they were fellow- 
shipped by delegates from Champion, Rutland and Adams. It 
at first numbered ten members. Elder Sardis Little was or- 
dained over this church January 10, 1816, and preached many 
years. A society was legally organized April 25, 1825, at 
which Melvin MofFatt, Walter Cole, George Brown, Nathaniel 
Peck, and William Webb were chosen trustees. It was reor- 
ganized February 11, 1833. In 1827 they erected their present 
stone church, at a cost of $2,800. Previous to 1812 they had 
built a log church, and in the war enclosed it with pickets, but 
the defense was never completed. Here the timid ones of the 
settlement were accustomed, in the early days of the war, to 
spend the night, enhancing each other's fears by relating tales of 
massacre, but these apprehensions were ridiculed by the more 
reflective, and were soon laid aside. A Baptist church was 
formed on Pillar Point in 1838, and the next year reported thirty 
members. No returns have been made from this church for the 
last four years. A society was formed September 22, 1838, with 
S. Howard, G. C. Persons, Hiram A. Bead, Solomon Ingalls, 
Elisha Harris, and Samuel R. Campbell, trustees. 

The xMoral and Religious Society of Perch River was formed 
March 19, 1851. Silas F. Spicer, Archibald Sternberg, John 
Cole, Lucius M. Webb, and Charles B. Avery, were chosen 
trustees. A union church was built in 1851 by this society, at 
a cost of $1,500. 

A Methodist society was formed in Brownville, August 3, 
1829, with Joshua Heminway, Henry W. Chapman, Samuel 
Knapp, Isaac Meacham, William Lord, and Daniel Case, trus- 
tees. In 1832 they erected the present church, in the village. 
The first Methodist Episcopal church of Pillar Point was organ- 
ized January 9, 1836, the first trustees being Isaac Luther, John 
D. Ingerson, Smith Luther, Lyman Ackerman, and Stephen P. 
Brackett. It has been once or twice reorganized. 

The first Universalist society of Dexter was formed September 
B, 1841, with John Maynard, Thomas Broadbent, Solon Stone, 
David Barker, Francis W. Winne, and Eleazer Parker, trustees. 
A church was built the same season, at a cost of about $1,300, 
and dedicated December 23, 1841, sermon by Rev. Pitt Morse. 
Rev. H. L. Hayward (January 1, 1842), was employed as the 
first clergyman. He was succeeded by G. S. Abbott (from No- 
vember, 1842, to January 1, 1846). J. Wendall, C. A. Skinner, 
William McNeal, Lyman Perry, and Asa Sax, have been em- 
ployed by the society, generally on alternate sabbaths, at sala- 
ries of $150 to $200. The first Universalist society of Brown- 

Cape Vincent. 109 

Tille was formed December 17, 1851, with Alanson Skinner, 
Henry Lord, William Lord, Lewis Maynard, George Brown, and 
Ueman Russ, trustees. In 1852-3, they erected a church in the 
village of Brownville. 

Capb Vincent. 

This town was named from its principal village, and the lat- 
ter from Vincenf Le Ray, a son of the landholder, who owned, 
at an early day, this town and many others in the county. It 
was erected from Lyme, April 10, 1849, embracing all west of 
a line running from the mouth of Little Fox Creek, N., 48}^ £., 
646 chains; thence N. 57'' £., 235'56 chains, to the town of 
Clayton. The first town meeting was directed to be held at the 
house of Jacob Berringer, at which the following officers were 
first elected: Frederick A. Folger, supervisory John W. Little, 
derk; William H, Webb, superintendent of schools; J. Ber- 
ringer, Augustus Awberton, Barney W. Payne, justices of the 
peace; £. Clement, collector; John H. Lawton, Adam A. Gray, 
assessors; Buel Fuller, commissioner highways; Francis A. 
Cross, overseer of poor. 

The Supervisors have been, in 1849, F. A. Folger; 1850-1, 
Robert C. Bartlett; 1852, Charles Smith; 1853, Otis P. Starkey. 

This town is the oldest in settlement in the county, Carlton 
Island having been occupied by a British fort for a long period 
before the adjacent country had been purchased and colonized. 
As the title of this island possesses considerable interest, we will 
give in this connection some details that were not noticed in the 
chapter on titles. The island was reserved by the state, in 
their cession to Macomb. 

A military bounty, or class right, was issued to Wm. Rich- 
ardson, a sergeant in the New York line of the revolutionary 
war. Matthew Watson and William Guilland became the pur- 
chasers of this right, and on the 2d of October, 1786, located 
the same on Carlton Island, generally. The land commissioners 
sanctioned this location, but inserted the condition that it should 
be void if the island in the division should fall to Canada. 
Guilland sold his right to Watson, who died leaving three child- 
ren, John, Margaret and Jane, two of whom (John and Jane) 
died without issue, leaving their sister Margaret their heir-at- 
law, who married one Jacob Ten Broeck, and these sold their 
right to Charles Smyth. 

This subject came before the legislature in 1821, and from the 
report of the committee,* it appears that previous to, and since 
17S6, till 1812, the island had been held by the British, so that 

* Atr«mblj Papert, MitoelUneonf, Vol. XI, P. S64, Secr«tarf*f oAct. 

110 Cape f^incent. 


it was not in the power of the proprietor of the class right to 
have a survey made, according to the location, as is provided 
by the statute, and to sue out letters patent within the time lim- 
ited by law. Hence the necessity of special legislation, and the 
surveyor general, to whom the question was referred, advised 
that the title should not be prejudiced by reason of the lapse of 
time between the location and application for a patent Smyth 
also applied for the purchase of the remainder, in all about 1200 
acres, and the committee ascertaining that twelve families ivere 
located there, and that depredations were being made upon the 
timber, for which cause they advised a compliance with the re- 
quest. An act was passed March 2, 1821, directing a patent to 
be issued for 500 acres from the west end of the island. 

Mr. F. R. Hasler, the distinguished mathematician, who for 
many years had charge of the coast survey, and was then resi- 
ding in town on the south shore opposite, was appointed to sur- 
vey the island, in 1823, and from his report,* we quote the 
following remarks. 

" There are about 30 acres of old improved land near the 
south shore, called the King^s Gardeuy which are very good land, 
the higher part is somewhat stoney, yet not impeding the plow- 
ing. The timber generally young, second growth, beech, maple, 
oak, birch, hickory, and a few pines. Value $5, without the 
improvements." This lot was about midway between the two 
extremities on the south side, and a hundred chains from the 
westerly point of the island. At the time of the survey there 
were 8 log houses and 2 shanties on the island, with 197 
acres cleared, and improvements worth $1,020. The total 
area was 1,274 acres, mostly prized at $4 per acre. The 
map made by Mr. Hasler, in the state engineer and surveyor's 
office (No. 266) represents the outline of Fort Carlton, as it 
then existed, and must continue till the end of time, as the 
excavation that formed the moat was made 
in the rock. We insert herfe a plan and _/-^^s%^ 

section of the fort, from a sketch made in f-r^^i^^^^^^SV^ 
June last, which will convey a general J^^ ^^^^^ 

idea of the work. This island became C^ \0 

after the war, an important lumbering! 
station, the bays at the head of the island 
affording a convenient and sheltered place for the making up of 
rafts. Avery Smith, a Canadian, located here in this business 
in 1822, and formed a partnership with Abijah Lewis. They 
afterwards dissolved partnership, and continued the business 
separately. Schools were established here, a store opened, and 

* Field Book, No. 30, p. 18, State Engineer's Office. 

Cape Vincent. Ill 

twenty or thirty families settled. By an act of April 17th, 
I822y a justice of the peace was directed to be appointed. Mr. 
— Shuinway was the only one who held the office here. In 
l^'iAr-bj the business of the place began to decline, and but two 
families were residing on the island in June, 1853. There is 
scarcely among the lovely scenery of the islands, a more de- 
lightful spot than that occupied by the ruins here, and the fruit 
trees growing abundantly without cultivation in the vicinity, 
evince that the former occupants paid some attention to this 
branch of husbandry. The trees appear to have sprung from 
those planted by the English. The earliest settlement ou the main 
land in this town, was made by Abijah Putnam from Rome, who 
in 1801, located two miles below the present village of Cape 
Vincent, at a place early known as Port Putnam^ where he estab- 
lished the first ferry to Wolf Island. He was sent there for the 
purpose by Jacob Brown, the agent of Le Ray. One Samuel 
Cone, settled on the opposite shore of the island at the same 
time. In 1803, the state road was extended from Brownville to 
this place, and cut out and partly worked in the winter of 1803- 
4. In 1804, John Macombs, and Peter Sternberg, from near 
Little Falls, purchased Putnam's chance, laid out the plan of a 
village, and sold a few lots. In May 1803, John R Esselstyn, 
from Montgomery, settled three miles below the present village 
of Cape Vincent. Daniel Spinning came from Western, in 
1804, and soon after two families by the name of Smith, Jona- 
than Cummings, — Sheldon, and others, located near the place. 
In 1806, Richard M. Esselstyn, settled near Putnam's ferry with 
his brother. 

The first work of importance done at the present village of 
Cape Vincent, was by Eber Kelsey, from Turin, originally from 
Connecticut, who in the summer of 1809, came on with about 
twenty men, and cleared for Le Ray a tract of 50 acres, erected 
a wharf, block dwelling house and tavern, a frame barn, &c; 
and the same season, Richard M. Esselstyn built a house and 
store, and commenced trade, under the firm of J. B. & R. M. 
Esselstyn. Dr. Avery Ainsworth, from Vermont, built a house 
and store, the same season, and was the first physician who 
settled in this part of the county. Mr. Le Ray, from an early 
period, designed Cape Vincent or Gravelly Point, as it is some- 
times called, as the site of a village, which from its proximity 
to Kingston, and the facility with which the river could be 
crossed at all seasons, rendered a very eligible point for a com- 
mercial town. A mile square was surveyed and lotted in 1811, 
by Musgrove Evans, one of the surveyors of Le Ray. A ferry was 
early established here by Kelsey, and by an act of February 20th, 
1807, Peter Sternberg procured the exclusive right of ferrying 

112 Cape Fincent. 

between Carlton Island and Long Island, for a term of ten years. 
The ferries across the river in this town, have generally been 
granted by the legislature, the rates being fixed by the county 
courts. Before the establishment of a custom house, smuggling 
was carried on with impunity, especially during the embargo 
period, when the temptation was great, and the means of pre- 
vention comparatively limited. 

In 1809 the business of lumbering was commenced by Essel- 
styn and Murry, the latter from Augusta, in Canada, the timber 
being bought of Le Ray and exported as staves, and square 
timber. This business gave employment to many men, and brought 
a transient population to the place. In the same year several 
families made a permanent stand in the place. In 1810 the im- 
portation in vessels of staves, from the Genesee and Niagara 
countries, gave employment to a considerable number and brought 
in much money. About 200,000 staves were imported, and at 
the end of the season 80 or 90,000 were left. The business 
of building arks for the Montreal trade, is followed to some ex- 
tent, and in 1811, it was continued by the Esselstyns on their 
own account, but not so extensively. In 1812 the embargo w^as 
again laid, but the cry of war had been so long heard, that it 
was not dreaded, and preparations wore made to raft the staves, 
that remained of the business of 1810, but before the embargo 
was to have ceased, war was declared, and the lumber was after- 
wards mostly used as fuel by Wilkinson's army. At this time, there 
w^ere but about six families at Cape V'incent. The news of the 
war spread terror throughout the settlement, and this point being 
nearest to Kingston, was considered of much importance by Ge- 
neral Brown, upon whom the care of the early military operations 
of this place* was laid. Capt. Farrar, had been stationed here a 
short time before, with a part of a company of militia, to enforce 
the embargo. Major John B. Esselstyn, a resident of the place, 
was immediately directed to assemble a body of militia, and three 
companies were collected and retained under his command, until 
Major Allen could arrive with his draft. A company of drafted 
militia from the Mohawk settlements, under Capt. Getman, and 
subsequently others were posted here a short time. 

A few days after, war had been declared, but before the news 
was received, the Niagara, and Ontario, two schooners, laden 
with flour and potash, from Queenstown to Brockville, w^ere seized 
by Mr. Elijah Fields, Jr., deputy collector at Cape Vincent, and 
taken to Sackets Harbor, where an investigation was held; the 
Niagara was condemned and sold, the Ontario was released 
and allowed to depart. The vessels were owned by Porter & 
Barton, of Niagara, and were taken in our waters, without papers, 
and in violation of the revenue laws. 

Cape Vincent. 113 

During the ^ar, as would be very naturally supposed, this 
point being the roost exposed on the whole frontier, and one of 
the few places then inhabited on the river, became the scene of 
adventures that attracted notice at the time and are still preser- 
ved by traditions. On a certain occasion, probably in the summer 
of 1813, a man by the name of Draper, who belonged to dapt. 
Getman's company, and served as an express to Sackets Harbor, 
learning that a party of Indians had been lurking on Wolf bland, 
solicited and obtained of Col. Dodge, at Sackets Harbor, leave 
(not orders) to raise a party of volunteers from the company and 
dislodge them. A gunboat, under Capt. Hawkins, having touched 
at the Cape, agreed to take them over, but not to take part in the 
affair. As the boat approached, a gun was fired, which put the 
Indians to flight. They were hastily pursued about a mile to an 
open field, beyond a bridge crossing a marsh, where Draper, by 
carelessly exposing himself to the shots of the enemy, was killed, 
and two others slightly wounded. The party hastily returned, 
leaving him; and, according to some accounts, he was scalped. 
This has been denied, and it is generally believed he was buried, 
but so slightly that the foxes dug to him, and he was afterwards 
again interred. 

A little before the attack on Sackets Harbor, a British gunboat 
touched at Cape Vincent, in the night, and a part of the crew having 
landed, heard of the presence of a party of three dragoons, who 
had put up for the night from Sackets Harbor. One of these, 
named Moore, who was an accomplished fencer, retreated to a 
corner of the room and kept off his assailants so effectually, that, 
finding it impossible to take him alive, he was shot. His comrades 
escaped, and the enemy returned to their boats. Two weeks later, 
another visit was made, a store plundered, and temporary bar- 
racks in the place burned. Subsequent visits for plunder followed, 
and many of the inhabitants left for a less exposed situation. Late 
in 1813 General Wilkinson's army stopped a short time at the 
place. After the war, lumbering was resumed, and the opening 
of roads, especially the turnpike from Brownville, gave a new 
impulse to the settlement. 

Until about 1816, the settlements along the river were limited 
to a few points, but about this time the country around began to 
be taken up; new roads were opened in every direction, and for 
a short time, the country advanced rapidly in population and 
improvements, which continued till the completion of the Erie 
Canal. At Cape Vincent, several educated and accomplished 
French families located; among whom, in 3818, was Peter 
Francis Real, known in European history as Count Realy the 
chief of police under Napoleon. The change of political pros- 
pects in France, in a few years, recalled many ^celebrated exiles 

114 Cape Vincent. 

who had adhered to the fortunes of Napoleon, and fled from the 
disasters which overtook that dynasty, among whom were Count 
Real, and others who had made this country their home. At 
about the same time, Mr. F. R. Hasler, the eminent philosopher 
and engineer, having become interested in real estate in this 
place, came here to reside with his family, and planned the es- 
tablishment of a normal school, which he never perfected. The 
village was a favorite resort with Mr. Le Ray, and he was often 
accompanied by eminent foreigners, who never visited the county 
without becoming his guests, and sharing that refined hospitality 
which he knew so well how to bestow. The first visit of Le Ray 
to this place was in 1S03, and was attended with the following 

He was accompanied by Gouverneur Morris, and after visiting 
Brownville, they took an open boat to continue their journey, as 
Mr. Morris had a wooden leg, and could not conveniently travel 
in the woods by the rude means of communication which the 
country then afforded, and he was moreover very partial to sail- 
ing, and claimed to be especially skillful in managing water 
craft. On passing Cherry Island, Mr. Morris observed that there 
must be fine fishing there, and as he had with him his French 
cook, and culinary apparatus, he declared he would serve his 
friend a better fish dinner than he had ever tasted. Mr Le Ray 
objected that it was getting late and cloudy, and they had a great 
ways to run before reaching Putnam's, the first settlement on the 
shore. Nothing would do; Mr. Morris was as fond of good cheer 
as of sailing, and they stopped. They had good fishing, and 
a capital dinner; but it was late before they set sail again, 
and dark before they reached the St. Lawrence, and they were 
obliged to stop at Gravelly Point, two miles above Putnam's, 
where they pitched their tent and went to bed, for they had all 
the necessary implements. In the middle of the night, a fire 
built before the tent set it in flames; Mr Morris, thus unseason- 
ably disturbed, felt all around for his wooden leg, but was 
obliged to flee without it. The exposure to wind and rain pro- 
duced in Mr. Le Ray a violent illness and he with difiSculty 
returned to Brownville. Dr. Kirkpatrick was procured from 
Rome, and he was long confined with a dangerous fever. 

A custom house was established here, and Cape Vincent dis- 
trict organized in 1818. The greatest amount of business was 
formerly done in winter, but since the completion of the Water- 
town and Rome Rail Road the business has very greatly in- 
creased. The collectors have been John B. Esselstyn, Jerre 
Carrier, Judah T. Ainsworth, Peleg Burchard, Gideon S. Sacket, 
and Alfred Fox. The ports of Alexandria Bat/y Claytony Mil- 
Un^s Bayy Grenadier Island, Three MUe Bay, Chaumont Bay 

Cape Vincent. 115 

tnd P(nnt Peninsula are subordinate to this, and included in the 
district. The present officers at this office are: Alfred Fox, 
collector, Charles W. Rogers, William Estis, deputy collectors^ 
James L. Folger, L. D. Tarble, inspectors. In 1848 the official 
returns gave $91,597; in 1649, $90,484; in 1850, $120,040; 
and in 1851 of $94,546. 

A considerable amount of ship building has been carried on 
at Cape Vincent since 1819. The following is believed to be a 
correct list of vessels built here, the names of first masters 
(when known) being given in italics. Schooners: Henry, John 
Davis; V. Le Ray, do.; Lafayette, Mastin; Ainsworth, •/. Be-^ 
lisle; Hannah, Peter Ingalls; O. P. Starkey, do.; L. Goler, 
Lucas; Victor, Ripley; Free Trader, Shattuck; Chief Justice 
Marshall, Edie; brig. Merchant, T. Pheatt; schooners, Henry 
Crevolin, Belisle; John E. Hunt, P. Ingalls; Napoleon, Crouch; 
Merchant, /. Harris; Amelia, Shattuck; Roscoe, do; Potomac, 
do; brig, Iowa; sloop, Elizabeth Goler, Cummings; brig, 
Patrick Henry, W. E. Ingalls; schooner, Montezuma, Smith; 
Troy; Allanwick; Globe, Goler; propeller, St. Nicholas, Littz; 
schooner, Charles Smith, W. E. Ingalls; Algomah, Reid; Silas 
Wright, Fuller; Port Henry, /. Jarvis. 

Application for the incorporation of the village of Cape Vin- 
cent, was made to the court of sessions, June 14th, 1853. A 
census taken on the 14th of April, gave a population of 1218, 
within the proposed limits, or 312} acres. The petition to the 
court was signed by Jerre Carrier, Samuel Forsyth, Zebulon 
Converse and L. H. Ainsworth, and an election was held in 
July, which resulted in the adoption of the charter by a vote of 
80 to 2. The first village election was held August 9th, 1853, 
at which J. Carrier, T. Peugnet, J. T. Ainsworth, J. Li Folger, 
and L. H. Ainsworth, were chosen trustees; William R. Sanders, 
derk; W. J. Ingalls, C. Smith, C. Wright, assessors; R. Crary, 
treasurer; J. L. Garden ier, collector. 

The rail road company have built here, for the accommodation 
of an immense and rapidly increasing trade, a wharf about 3000 
feet long, and two freight houses, one 35 by 600 feet, and 
another 35 by 100. During the last season, they have com- 
pleted a grain elevator, 60 by 90 feet, and 70 feet high, for un- 
loading grain irom vessels, and loading upon cars, and with 
ample bins for the storage of grain. They have also completed a 
passenger depot, 50 by 200 feet, including a hotel, and are ex- 
tending their improvements as the wants of trade, and the 
increase of business demand. There runs between this rail road 
and the Michigan Central, a line of propellers, consisting of the 
Bay State, Capt. A. Reed; Jforthern Michigan^ Capt. J. M". 
Green; Jefferson, Capt. D. H. Dixon; Hercules, Capt J. Bost- ^ 

116 Cape Vincent* 

wick; and Young Americay Capt L. W. Bancroft. These 
propellers were mostly built at Buffalo within the last two years, 
and have a tonnage of 372. They are owned by Bancroft & 

There is also a line of steamers, consisting of the Champion^ 
May Flower, and Highlander, running daily, in connection with 
trains, to all Canadian ports from Kingston to Hamilton, and a 
ferry leaves on the arrival of every passenger train for Kingston. 
The express line of the Ontario and St. Lawrence Steam Boat 
Comparjy, consisting of the magnificent steamers JVew York and 
Bay State, form a daily line between Ogdensburg and Lewiston, 
from June till October, and touch both ways at this place. 

An appropriation of $3,000 was made, May 18th, 1826, for 
the erection of a light house on Tibbets' Point, at the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence, nearly two miles from the village, and recently 
measures have been adopted for the erection of another, at the 
head of Carlton Island. A breakwater in front of the piers at 
Cape Vincent, is demanded by the commercial wants of the 
place, and it is presumed will ere long be built by the general 
government who can not long neglect an improvement so 
obviously necessary. 

The village of Cape Vincent is delightfully located near the 
head of the St. Lawrence, on a plain that rises by a gentle slope, 
and is laid out in squares. It contains churches of Episcopal, 
Presbyterian, and Catholic orders, two wharves, besides the ample 
ones lately constructed by the rail road company, the usual variety 
of mechanics, and is the residence of many engaged in the em* 
ployment of the rail road, and the navigatian of the lakes. 

In Lake Ontario, opposite to this town, and forming a part of 
it, is Grenadier Island, that was patented separately from the 
lands on the main shore, and of the title of which there occurred 
some interesting negotiation. 

Patrick Colquhoun, in a letter before us, dated London, June 
4, 1792, made to Wm. Constable, who held at that time the in- 
terest in Macomb's contract, a proposition, to purchase several 
of the islands near the confluence of the lake and river, and also 
the small islands lying in Niauern, or Nivernois Bay, among 
which were Chevruelle, or Roe Buck Island^ Renard or Foxes 
Island, and otheis, of which the only description he possessed was 
drawn from Sauthier's map, which was very defective in the de- 
tails of this section of the state. He offered for these islands, 
which he represented as including about ten thousand acres, ''and 
are said to be rocky and overgrown with juniper and other small 

* Carlton Island, which h« supposed was includad in tkt contract. 

Cape Fincent. 117 

shrubs, which indicate a poverty of soil," the sum of JC400 sterl., 
as soon as a patent could be obtained, and ihe title deeds made 
out, and if any small islands, not specified in the above offer, were 
found to lie in (he vicinity, they were to be included. In a post- 
script he oflered to pay one hundred per cent, on whatever these 
islands shall cost in the gross, when payment was made to the 
state of New York,, according to the measurement. 

It is probable that the fact of Grenadier Island's being con- 
tracted to Macomb, was not known to the parties who presented 
Feb. 24, IS03, to the legislature, the following petition: 

''The memorial of Samuel English, and Hezekiah Barret, 
humbly sheweth; that whereas your memorialists did petition the 
honorable legislature in their last session, for a grant of a cer- 
tain island, lying in the Lake Ontario, between Oswego, and the 
head of the river St. Lawrence, belonging to the people of this 
state, on such terms as your honorable body should deem meet 
and reasonable, which island is known by the name of Grenadier 
Island, and is supposed to contain about 1000 acres. Your me- 
morialists being informed, that a bill did pass the honorable house 
of assembly last session in their favor, but doubts arising in the 
breasts of some of the members, that the Indian title might not 
be extinguished, the bill was finally lost. Your memorialists hav- 
ing made diligent inquiry, are satisfied that there is no claim 
upon said island, by the Indians, and that it is actually the pro- 
perty of this state, which induces them once more to pray, that 
your honorable body will grant them the said Island, and they 
will engage to settle the same within twelve months, after re- 
ceiving a grant therefor." 

A slight investigation was sufficient to prove, that the state 
had no power to convey the island, which was not done until the 
boundary had been finally settled. 

Grenadier Island, first began to be settled two or three years 
before the war, and in 1813 it became the rendezvous of the 
army and fleet of General Wilkinson, in his disastrous expedi- 
tion down the St. Lawrence, which both in plan, and execution, 
reflected unmitigated disgrace upon the American arms, and 
deserved infamy upon the chief conductors. The currents have 
thrown up beaches, at the east extremity of the island, in such 
a manner, as to form a capacious bay, which is named Basin 
Harbor. The shores, in common with those of the main land, 
afford valuable seine fisheries, and the soil is very fertile. Before 
a proprietor appeared to show title, it had been occupied by 
about fourteen families. It is now owned by parties in Clayton 
Village, and is occupied as an extensive dairy farm. The first 
settler on this island is said to have been John Mitchel, who en- 
dured many hardships from his isolated position and distance from 

118 ' Cape Vincent. 

The most disastrous accident that ever occurred on lake Onta- 
rio happened near The Ducks, small islands near the Cana- 
da shore, about forty miles above Kingston, on the morning of 
April 30, 1853. The upper cabin steamer Ocean Wave, built 
in Montreal, in 1851, and owned by the Northern Rail Road, be- 
ing then on her way down from Hamilton to Ogdensburgh, took 
fire between one and two o'clock in the morning, and was burned. 
The fire took near the engine, and appeared to have been occa- 
sioned by the faulty construction of the boat, which had been 
on fire op one or two previous occasions. When the flames 
were discovered they were making such rapid progress, from the 
boat being newly painted, that the small boats could not be got 
out, and in less than five minutes it was enveloped in flames. 
The terrific scene that ensued defies description, the miserable 
victims having but a moment's time for deciding by which mode 
of death they should perish. The light attracted the schooners 
Georgiana and Emblem, who, with some fishing boats from the 
shore, saved twenty-one persons out of forty-four, the numberof 
the crew and passengers. The steamer Scotland came up near 
the wreck about sunrise, and passed without rendering assistance. 
According to the affidavit of the captain and crew, there was no 
one floating around the place at this time. 

The post oflSces in the town of Cape Vincent are, Cape Vin^ 
cent, Millen^s Bay, and St, Lawrence. 

A Union Library was formed August 14, 1824, with Gideon 
S. Sacket, John B. Esselstyn, Danied Smith, Stockwell Osgood, 
Philip P. George, Zebulon Coburn, and Roswell T. Lee, trus- 
tees. It was maintained several years, when it was discon- 

Religious Societies, The first Presbyterian society of Lyme 
was formed at Cape Vincent, December 22, 1824, with Benja- 
min Holmes, Oliver Lynch, Hezekiah H. Smith; Jedediah C. 
Mills, and Samuel Forsyth, trustees. A church had been previ- 
ously formed, which was admitted to the Presbytery in June, 
1823. The Rev. J. Burchard was employed in 1824-25; Eber 
Chikls, and David Smith were stated supplies for a few months 
each; Lucius Foot was hired in 1827. A stone church was 
built, and temporarily fitted for use, in 1832, and finished about 
1840. The society received of Mr. Le Ray the lot and $400. 
The cost of the church was about $2,800. A bell was procured 
in 1852. The pews are rented annually to support the toinister. 

St. John's Church (Episcopal) was formed with the approba- 
tion of Bishop De Lancey, dated December 26, 1840, by Rev. 
John Noble, on the 17th of January, 1841. A society was le- 
gally organized, January 25, 1841, the Rev. John Noble being 
erctor; John B. Esselstyn, and Nelson B. Williams, loardens; 

Champion. 1 19 

Nelson Potter, Otis P. Starkey, Robert Bartlett, Calvin K. Pool, 
Judah T. Ainsworth, Robert Moore, Rice Parish, and William 
Esselstyn, vestrymen. A lot 8 rods by 20 was given for the 
purpose by O. P. Starkey, upon which a small but convenient 
church was erected, at a cost of $3,100, between June 1, and 
October 1, 1841. On the 2d day of June, 1842, it was conse- 
crated. The Society has since erected a parsonage opposite the 
church. Mr. Nobles has been succeeded by N. Watkins, April 6, 
1S41; Samuel H. Norton, April 13, 1846; Richard Adams, 
1850; and James Abercrombie, June 23, 1852. The report of 
1851 gave 53 families and 240 persons, as belonging to the 
church; whole number of communicants up to July, 1853, has 
been about 70. 

The first Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Cape 
Vincent, was formed October 14, 1851, with William King, 
George Akerline, William Esselstyn, Philetus Judd, Asa S. 
Jones, John Hollenbeck, and John Nimms, trustees. 

The Catholics, in the summer of 1853, commenced the erec- 
tion of a church, which is not finished at the time of writing. 
There is a Catholic church in the French settlement, seven miles 
from the village. 


This town, embracing township number four, of the Eleven 
Towns, was formed from Mexico, by an act of March 14, 1800, in- 
cluding all that part of the present town of Denmark, north of Deer 
River. It received its name from General Henry Champion, of 
Colchester, Ct, who was one of the early proprietors of this town, 
and was also very extensively interested in lands in Ohio, and in 
the western parts of this state. 

Supervisors.— 1800-Uy Noadiah Hubbard; 1815, Wilkes Ri- 
chardson; 1816, 17, Stowell Warner; 1818-20, N. Hubbard; 
1821, Eseck Lewis; 1822-6, N. Hubbard; 1827, Samuel Dean. 
At a special town meeting in October, Eseck Lewis was chosen 
to fill a vacancy; 1828, 9, Henry D. Cad well; 1830-33, Otis 
Loomis; 1834-38, Richard Hulbut; 1839, 40, David Smith; 
1841-43, John Pool, Jr.; 1844, E.Lewis; 1845, James C.Lynde; 
1846, David Smith; 1847, John Pool, Jr.; 1848, Wm. Vanhosen; 
1849, D. Smith; 1850, Wm. Vanhosen; 1851-3, Benajah A. 

The town officers elected at the first town meeting, April 1, 
1800, were Noadiah Hubbard, supervisor; Eli Church, derk; 
Timothy Pool, David Cofieen and William Hadsall, assessors; 
Ephraim Chamberlain, constable and collector; John Ward and 
Reuben Rockwood, overseers o/ the poor; Solomon Ward, Ama- 
ziah Parker, and Elihu JoneSyCommissioners o/ highuxiys; Daniel 
Coffeen, Wm. Crowell, Timothy Pool and Moses Goodrich, over^ 

120 ChampioTU, 

seers of highways; Levi Barns, fence viewer; Bela Hubbard, 
pound master. 

The following is a record of the first school meeting in town, 
as it occurs on the records in the town clerk's oflSce: 

" Champion, 23d October, 1800. At a regular meeting of the 
inhabitants of the town aforesaid, it was resolved, that there shall 
be a house erected near a spring, on the road now running from 
Noadiah Hubbard's to Daniel Coflfeen's, in said town; and like- 
wise resolved, that said house shall be built with logs, sixteen 
feet one way, and twenty feet the other way. Also, resolved by 
said meeting, that Daniel CofTeen and Noadiah Hubbard, shall 
act as trustees of said school. Attest, Eli Church, Tovm Clerk.^* 

Champion was surveyed by Moses and Benjamin Wright, in 
1797, the former subdividing, and the latter surveying around it; 
the area, according to M. Wright, was 26,703 acres, and by B. 
Wright. 25,708 acres. It was subdivided into lots oif 500 acres. 

This town was the first one in which actual settlements were 
begun in the county, unless, perhaps Ellisburgh, which was 
explored with the view of settlement at about the same time. 
The following advertisement appeared in the Western Centind^ 
June 7, 1797. 

^^ Lands for sale, lying on Black River, in the County oi 
Herkimer, and State of New York. 

Forty lots of lainl laid out into farms, containing from 100 to 
240 acres each, on Inman's Patent,f so called; in this township 
there is about forty actual settlers, and a good grist mill within 
one mile and [illegible] * * * on said land. This land is of an 
excellent soil, and the situation convenient and pleasing for set- 
tlers. The subscriber will remain on the land the most of the 
ensuing summer and fall. Terms of payment will be made to 
accommodate purchasers. Also township No. 4,'| lying on and 
adjoining Black River, about thirty miles from Boon's Mills; 
this township is of an excellent soil; twenty actual settlers will 
be on this township this summer. For terms please to apply to 
the subscriber, who will reside on Inman's Patent, or to Capt 
Noadiah Hubbard; of Steuben, who is making a settlement on 
said township No. 4. 

Also for sale a township of land lyin^ on Black River, near 
Lake Ontario.^ These townships are all laid out in lots, and will 
be sold by large or small quantities, to suit purchasers, and the 
title indisputable. Also ten lots of land to be leased on first 
tract." Lemuel Stores. 

May 10, 1797. 75, 4m. 

* Published by Lewis jr Webb, near the post office in Whitestown, Coimtj 
of Herkimer. Four columns; small folio. 

t Leyden. | Champion. 4 Houndsfitld. 

Champion. 121 

Settlements were commenced in this town by Noadiah Hub- 
bard, in 1797, the details of which we give in the following 
letter, which was written at our request, and can not fail of being 
read with interest: 

Champion, June, 1853. 
" Dr. F. B. Hough, Dear Sir: As you requested some months 
since, 1 now transmit to you a few of my recollections of the 
early settlement of this county. I should have complied with 
jour request earlier had it not been for a pressure of business 
during the summer and autumn, and more recently not being in 
my usual state of health. 

When I consider the long lapse of time since the first settle- 
ment of this country to the present, and my very advanced age, 
I can scarcely expect to write much that will interest your read- 
ers; and, therefore, I give you liberty to use or not to use the 
simple records as you see fit. I am past the age when most men 
write at all, beinpj now in my eighty-ninth year, and past events 
may well be supposed to be becoming dimmed by reason of age, 
and more like a dream than a reality; yet I have been, and am 
wonderfully blessed both as respects health and the possession of 
present memory — some of the choicest gifts of a kind Providence, 
All the companions of my early youth and of my more mature 
years, have passed away, and I am left alone to tell the tale. 
Yet not alone as it respects friends. Others have risen up around 
me to take the place, in some measure, of those that are gone. 
Of the friends of my early manhood's years, I often feel to ex- 
claim where are they? and " echo answers where are they?" 
Gone to that " bourne from whence no traveler returns." The 
original landholders, even, of all this region of country are passed 
away, and have left no trace or name save in the title deeds. I 
have not very many records of those early days; so full of life 
and bustle were they, that little time was left to record their stir- 
ring events; yet some I have, and when I give you dates at all, 
they are from memoranda made at the time. 

1 first came to this town, Champion, in the year 1797, with 
Lemuel Storrs, a large landholder, when he came on for the first 
time to view his purchase. I was then residing in Steuben, in 
what is now Oneida County, but then, or shortly before, Herkimer. 
Mr. Storrs then hired several pack men, whose business it was 
to carry the necessary provisions for the expedition on their 
backs. This was late in the autumn. We traveled on foot by 
what was called the French Road to the High Falls on the Black 
River. This road had been cut for the accommodation of the 
French refugees who had made a settlement at High Falls, and 
had then a log city. Many of these French belonged to the 
nobility of France, who were obliged to abandon their country 


122 Champion. 

during the revolution in 1793, but "who were afterwards permit- 
ted to return when the star of empire rose upon the Bonapartes. 
Their settlement was made upon what was called the French 
Tract, on the north and east side of the Black River, and extend- 
ing a great distance. From the High Falls we descended the 
river in a boat to the rapids, called Long Falls, now known as 
Carthage. Here we landed, and in two days explored the town- 
ship, then an unbroken wilderness. On our way down, Silas 
Stow, then a young man, and afterward known as Judge Stow, 
of Lowville, joined us. On the third day we reembarked and 
proceeded up the river, and it was two days hard rowing to get 
back again to the His^h Falls. As I believe I before mentioned, 
it was late in November, and the night we were obliged to be 
out, we encountered a severe snow storm. To protect ourselves 
from it in some measure, we made a shanty by setting up some 
crotchets, and laying on poles, and covering them with hemlock 
boughs. We also scattered branches upon the ground upon 
which to lie, and by making a rousing fire in front of our shelter, 
we contrived to be very comfortable. By this time our provisions 
were nearly exhausted, and we had before us the prospect of a 
hungry day. But in ascending the river we fortunately killed a 
duck and a partridge; these being stripped of their feathers in 
the evening, I cooked them for our breakfast the next morning. 
I prepared them as nicely as we could with our scanty means; 
salt we had none. I had a little pork left; this I cut in small 
bits and inserted into the flesh of the fowls, when it served the 
double purpose of salt, and butter for basting. To cook them I 
set up a couple of crotched sticks, laid another across, and from 
it by strips of. bark suspended my fowls before the fire, where 
they cooked most beautifully, and were all in good time partaken 
of by the company with rare relish. Indeed, Messrs. Storrs and 
Stow declared they had never eaten so good. Hunger and a 
limited supply gave a keenness of relish not often experienced. 

In due time we arrived safe and well in Steuben, from whence 
we had started, where I passed the winter. Mr. Storrs offered 
me very liberal inducements to come on here and commence a 
settlement; so liberal that I determined to accept them, though 
I may say in passing and then dismiss the subject forever, that 
he failed to fulfil his liberal offers. But in consideration of those 
offers; I left my home in Steuben the 1st of June, 1798, and 
started for this place, accompanied by Salmon Ward and David 
Starr, with fifteen head of cattle. We traveled again upon the 
French road, as far as it availed us. This township had been 
surveyed by Benjamin and Moses Wright, the year before, and 
this year Mr. Storrs had engaged B. W. to survey Hounsfield, 
and on his way there he was to mark a road to this place, and to 

Champion. 123 

precede me. I met the surveyors agreeably to appointment at a 
Mr, Hoadley's, and from there we came on to what is called Turin 
Four Corners. There was only one log house there then. From 
there we went west about thirty or forty rods to Zaccheus Higby's. 
There we laid down our maps and consulted them, and came to 
the conclusion to take from thence a north couise. This led us 
up on to the top of the hill, now known as the Tug Hill, We 
were entirely ignorant of the face of the country, and of the 
most eligible route to pursue, and therefore took the one which 
seemed the most direct, not knowing the obstacles to be encoun- 
tered. We had before come down by water, and on this route 
there was not even a marked tree. It was the duty of the sur- 
veyors to precede us, mark a road and chain it. Mr. W*** started 
in advance of us for this purpose. It was a beautiful, clear 
morning and we followed on, progressing finely until the middle 
of the afternoon, w^ien we came to a great gulf, and an abund- 
ance of marked trees. We went over the gulf but could find no 
more trees marked. We then made a fire and took out the stop- 
pings from our bells, and suflfered our cattle to feed around the 
fire, while we set ourselves to search for marked trees, over the 
gulfs and up and down, but could find no place to cross, or marks 
by which to determine what course the surveyors had taken. In 
this predicament we prepared to construct a shelter for the night 
of hemlock boughs, &c. 

The next morning the sun came up clear and bright, and I 
called a council. I told the men how much damage it would be 
to me to return, how great a loss not to proceed, and asked them 
if they were willing to come on. David Starr replied that he 
would go to h — 1, if I would. Though no w^ay desirous of going 
to the latter place, even in good company, I determined to come 
on, if such a thing were possible, without a compass or guide. 
We then set ourselves to work, and felled trees, with which we made 
an enclosure, into w'hich we drove our cattle, and then shoved 
them down the precipice, one after another; they went up slant- 
ingly on the other side, and much better than we got them down, 
so that finally they were all safely over, after much toil and 
trouble I then agreed to pilot the company down, took off the 
ox bell, and carried it in my hand, leading the way, and steered 
a north course by the sun and w^atch. We had the advantage of 
a bright sunshine. We had to cross a number of gulfs, arid one 
windfall, which w-as the worst of all. We continued to travel 
upon the summit of the hill, where we found much fine table land. 
The cattle would travel as fast as I could lead the way. One 
man drove them, and another followed, axe in hand, to mark the 
trees, and leave traces behind us, so that if we could not advance, 
we could retrace our steps. 

124 Champion. 

We descended the hill before reaching Deer River. The lat- 
ter we struck and crossed above the falls — not far from where the 
village of Copenhagen now stands — and coming on, we succeed- 
ed in finding the town line, which was identified by marked trees, 
not far from where the toll-gate now is, on the Champion and 
Copenhagen Plank Road. We then changed our course, follow- 
ing the line to the Black River, at Long Falls, where we arrived 
before night. We there found Mr. W*** and men. They had 
not arrived more than an hour before us. When seeing us, Mr. 
W*** exclaimed, "How, in the name of God, have you got here?" 
I replied, " You scoundrel/ you ought to be burnt for leaving us 
so!" It was a most rascally piece of business, their leaving us 
as they did. But I suppose the truth was, they thought it im- 
possible for us ever to get through with our cattle; but this does 
not excuse them for not having marked the road; 'twas for that 
they were sent — and if others could not follow, they were not 
answerable; but their duty was plain before them. 

My boat, which I had dispatched from the High Falls, soon 
after arrived, with my provisions, yokes, chains, cooking utensils, 
&c., &c. The next day we left one to watch our effects, while 
the others were searching for a desirable location. In a few days 
I selected the farm upon which I now live, principally for 
the reason that it was the centre of the township, rather thai> 
for any peculiar advantages it possessed over other portions of 
the .town. Yet the soil has proved good, and sufficiently luxuri- 
ant with proper cultivation. This was what I sought, a good 
agricultural location, rather than one possessing hydraulic pri- 
vileges. Not one tree had been cut here for the purpose of ma- 
king a settlement, nor was there a white man settled in what is 
now the county of Jefferson, when I came here. I was the first 
white settler in the county, I remained here through the sum- 
mer, and until October, engaged in making a clearing. We then 
returned to Steuben, where my family was, to spend the winter. 
During the summer, some families had come into Lowville, and 
Mr. Storrs had caused a road to be marked from there to the Long 
Falls, and by that we returned, driving our cattle home again. 
These had become fat, by running in the woods, during the sum- 
mer, and I sold them for beef. I would mention here, though 
rather out of place, that I found a living spring of pure water, a 
few rods before where the public house, in this place, now stands, 
which had its influence in deciding my location. Near it I built 
my first house, and there I kept " bachelor's hall" two summers, 
being myself " chief cook." My first habitation was a cabin, 
erected in a few hours' time, with the aid of my men. It was a 
rude structure, but served our purpose. We first set some posts, 
and then, having felled great trees, stripped them of the bark. 

Champion. 125 

and, with this, covered the roof and three sides of our dwelling, 
the front was left opened, so that it may truly be said, we kept 
open house. The covering was kept firmly in its place by withes 
of bark. After the completion of our house, the next most ne- 
cessary thing, was an oven, in which to bake our bread, for bread 
we must have, it being the staflF of life. This was soon made, 
with two logs for a foundation, and a flat stone thereon, the super- 
structure was soon reared with smaller stones, cemented together 
by a mortar of muck, from the side of the spring, and crowned by 
a flat stone. This answered my purpose as well as one of more ela- 
borate construction. For a door, we split out a plank of bass-wood; 
and for a kneading-trough, we again had recourse to the bass- 
wood, from whence we cut a log of the required length and di- 
mensions,split it, and from one half, dugout, with an axe, and an in- 
strument named a howelly which we had brought for such purposes, 
in a short time, a trough, which answered our purpose very well. 
I bro't some yeast with me, to make my first batch of bread; after 
that, I used leaven, kept and prepared, after directions given me 
by my wife, before leaving home. Whatever may be said of our 
cooking, in general, I am sure none ever seemed sweeter to me, 
or was eaten with a better relish by others; labor sweetened 
every mouthful. We had cows; a plenty of milk, &c. We 
sometimes washed dishes, when we could not remember what we 
la^t ate upon them, but oftener turned them the bottom side up, 
there to remain until wanted again. Some even pretend to say, 
that when our table needed scouring, we sprinkled salt upon it, 
and put it out for the old cow to operate upon. However that 
may be, I am sure, if we ever did do it, it must have come from 
under her scouring apparatus exceedingly white. But the whole 
story is rather apocryphal. 

Early in the spring, 1799, 1 sent on two men, to make sugar, 
before I came on myself. They commenced making sugar, and 
one day went out hunting, leaving their sugar boiling. The con- 
sequence was, the house took fire and burned down, with all of 
the little it contained. During the winter, the Indians had stolen 
all the cooking utensils I had left, and the potatoes which I had 
raised, and buried the autumn before. Thus my riches were ta- 
king to themselves wings, and flying away. I came on soon after. 
This spring, Esquire Mix and family came on; John and Thomas 
Ward, Ephraim Chamberlain, Samuel and David Starr, Jotham 
Mitchell, Salmon Ward and Bela Hubbard, David Miller, and 
Boutin, a Frenchman, came to Carthage. The above were all 
young, unmarried men, save Mix. We continued our labors 
through the summer of 1799, but not with that spirit which we 
should have done, had not a rumor reached us of the failure of 
Mr. Storrs, and the probability that we should lose, not only aU 

126 Champion. 


our labor, but the money which I had advanced for my land. But 
I will not enter into particulars here — let it suffice that I could 
not afford to lose all I had done and paid, and consequently en- 
tered into a compromise with him, to save a moiety ot what was 
justly mine — of not only what I had actually paid for, but of 
what I was to have had, for leading the way in this first settle- 
ment of a new country, and subjecting myself again to all its dis- 
comforts and inconveniences. Consequently, in view of makiug 
this my permanent home, I moved my family here in the autumn 
of 1799. We had a very unfavorable time, to come. There had 
been a snow-storm,, in which about six inches of snow had fallen. 
We were obliged to travel on horseback, the horses' feet balled 
badly: we had sloughs to go through, and altogether, it was ve- 
ry uncomfortable traveling in that manner, with children. We 
arrived at Mr. Hoadley's the first night, a Ad our ox-teams and 
goods the next day. From there, we came to the High Falls, 
where I had a boat aw^aiting us, which I bad caused to be built 
for my own use. Here we embarked with all our goods and 
chattels, of all kinds, loading the boat to its utmost capacity, so 
that when all were in, it was only about four inches out of water. 
We spent one night at the Lowville landing, where a family 
were living. During the evening, there came in a number of 
men, wet, cold and hungry. Among them, was one named Smith. 
He went to pull off the boots of one ot his companions, which 
were very wet and clinging close. He pulled with all his might — 
the other bracing himself against him as firmly as possible. All 
at once, and with unexpected suddeness, the boot came off, and 
poor Smith was sent, with his bare feet, into a bed of live coals. 
There was both music and dancing for one while. 

We arrived at the Long Falls, about noon, the second day 
from our embarkation. The weather had by this time become 
warm and pleasant. Our oxen arrived soon after by land, we 
unloaded our boat, put our wagon together^ loaded it with some 
of our effects, set off, and, before night, reached our '^wilderness 
home.'' My wife said, in view of the difficulties in getting here, 
that, if she had any thing as good as a cave to live in, she would 
not return in one year at the least. She, of choice, walked from 
the Falls here, a distance of four miles through the forest. We 
arrived on the 17th of Nov., 1799. The weather continued pleasant 
until the 27th, when it commenced snowing, the river soon froze 
over, the snow, of which a great quantity fell, and continuing to 
fall, lasted all winter, and we were entirely cut off from all 
intercourse with the world. I kept fifteen head' of cattle through 
the Winter, by browsing them, and they wintered well. Isolated 
though we were, yet I never passed a more comfortable winter. 
We had a plenty of provisions; my wheat, I had raised here, a 

Champion. 127 

Yery fine crop from seed sown in the autumn of 1798, and my 
pork, &C., was fatted in Oneida County, and brought here by boat. 
And take it all together, I perhaps settled this country as easy as 
any one ever settled a ne\v country, as completely isolated as this 
was at that time, and easier than I settled in Steuben, 18 miles 
from Utica. At that time we had to go to Utica or Whitesborough 
for provisions, and it always took one day to go out, and another 
to return, incredible as it may now seem. In the spring of 1800, 
people began to flock into the country by hundreds, atod, as my 
log house afforded the only accommodation for wayfaring men, 
we were obliged to keep them, whether we would or no; some- 
times, and that very often, my floors were strewn with human 
beings as thick as they could lie, some so near the huge fire place 
as not to pass unscorched; one man in particular, it was said by 
his companions, had his head baked, by too close a proximity to 
the oven. This rush continued two or three years, and was full 
of incident and interest, but at this distance of time I can not 
recall these incidents with sufficient accuracy to detail them here. 
The town settled rapidly with an intelligent and energetic class 
of people. The society was good; it might be called good any 
where. Perhaps there was never a more intelligent and interesting 
people congregated together in an obscure little inland town, than 
in this, within a few years from its first settlement. I can not 
state the order of time in which they came, but the names of a 
few of them I will record, that in future time, when this place 
shall have sunk into insignificance, as it too probably will, before 
the greater lights arising around it, it may be known that we 
were once honored by having in our midst such men as Egbert 
Ten Eyck, afterwards first judge of the court, who was then a 
young lawyer, and married here to one of our beautiful maidens; 
Olney Pearce and wife, Hubbel and wife, Judge^ Moss Kent, 
brother of the late chancellor, Henry R. Storrs, who opened an 
office here, and afterwards became one of the most distinguished 
lawyers of the state. Dr. Baudry, a Frenchman, Drs. Durkee and 
Farley, and many others, too numerous to mention, as well as 
many ladies of grace and beauty, whom it would be invidious 
now to particularize. Common schools were soon established. 
Religious meetings were held on the sabbath, after old Deacon 
Carter came into the town, and in very few years, I think as early 
as 1805, the Rev. Nathaniel Dutton came. He was sent out by 
some missionary societyjat the east, to form churches in this west- 
ern world, and coming to this place, was invited to remain, which 
he did, and continued here until the close of his valuable life, in 
Sept. 1852, and for the greater part of that time was the pastor 
of the Congregational church, which flourished under his minis- 
trations, and enjoyed many powerful revivals of religion. 

128 Champion. 

A house was built at a very early day, on the hill, west of the 
village, which combined the double purpose of a church and 
school house. It was an expensive house for the times and com- 
munity. In a few years it was burned to the ground. The next 
school house was also a large one, located across the gulf, on the 
road to the Great Bend. This was also used as a meeting house. 
A part of it is still standing and is now converted into a dwelling 
house. Some years later it was determined to erect a church, 
but the details of this and other movements, I presume, you will 
obtain more fully from other sources. 

Yours, &c. NoADiAH Hubbard." 

The difficulties attending the early settlement of this town, and 
the country generally, are set forth in the following petition to 
the legislature, dated the third Tuesday of February, 1801: 

^* The memorial of the subscribers, proprietors, and inhabitants 
of Champion, on Black River, in the County of Oneida, in said 
state, humbly sheweth: That your memorialists, induced by the 
extraordinary fertility of the soil, have made an establishment 
in said Champion, and extended the frontier settlements of the 
state in a northerly direction from Rome to Lake Ontario. That 
in prosecuting this enterprise, those of your memorialists who 
have emigrated from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New 
Hampshire, and the eastern parts of this state, have not only 
been subjected to the inconvenience of excessively bad roads, but 
have been and are still obliged to go around by the way of Rome 
to Utica, and through Boon's settlements, and Steuben, a distance 
of at least forty miles further than it would be in a direct line. 
That from the High Falls, on Black River, on a line tolerably 
direct to Johnstown, and from thence to Albany, on the old road 
is but 105 miles; but from the High Falls to Albany, by way of 
Rome is 145 miles. Your memorialists are informed, and verily 
believe, that a good road may be made in the direction they 
have pointed out, by which all the aforesaid saving in distance 
would be realized. But the country through which it must run, 
is either not settled at all, or so thinly inhabited that neither the 
towns through which the proposed road must be laid out, nor 
individuals, are competent to the opening of said road. Your 
memorialists would further observe that' the road would not only 
be a great accommodation to them, but would be of so much 
public utility as to claim the patronage of the legislature. It 
would save at least forty miles in the travel from Albany to 
Upper Canada, between which places the commercial intercourse, 
particularly in the articles of skins and furs, is at present very 
considerable, and is daily increasing. The fur traders from this 
state, who have been bound to Kingston, and the bay of Cantie 

Champion. 129 

(from whence a great proportion of the furs have been brought), 
have heretofore been obJigeil to go through Vermont, and Lake 
Champlain, or through Rome, the Oneida Lake, into Lake Onta- 
rio, and thence to Kingston, either of which routes (as is evident 
from the map) is very circuitous; whereas the road which your 
memorialists propose, would make the traveling for these traders 
as direct as possible. Besides, it is believed, that those traders 
who are bound to Niagara, would find their account in travel- 
ing the new proposed road, and passing from Black River to 
Kingston, and taking passage from thence by water. It must 
also be the post road between this state and Upper Canada. 
This improvement in the. road will rapidly increase the emigra- 
tion to this part of the country, and consequently the prosperity 
of this part of the state. Your memorialists therefore pray your 
honors to take this case into your consideration, and to appoint 
commissioners to lay out a road from Johnstown, in the nearest 
direction to the High Falls on Black River, and to grant out of 
a future lottery, a sum of money which shall be necessary to open 
a road, and make it passable, or in someTother way grant relief, 
and they as in duty bound will ever pray, &c." 

This petition was signed by N. Hubbard, Benjamin Pike, jr., 
Eli Church, HarrisoA Mosely, Timothy Townsend, Joel Mix, 
Samuel Foster, Abner White, Mathew Kemp, Bela Hubbard, jr., 
Elisha Jones, William Davis, and W^illiam Crowell. 

The virgin soil of this town was fouYid to yield bountifully, 
and return an abundant increase to the hand of the cultivator, 
but the difficulty of realizing any means from the sales of pro- 
duce, from the difficulty of getting to market, led to efforts like 
the foregoing, to obtain aid for opening lines of communication, 
and we have heard it related from ihe lips of one who had 
shared in these privations, that once on an evening, when a 
few neighbors had assembled to exchange the news, the subject 
\vas being discussed, and one more sanguine than the rest, 
hazarded the prediction, that there were those then living, who 
v:ould see a weekly line of mail stages pass through the town. 
This prophecy, like the dream of oriental fable, has come and 
gone, for although within ten years, not only a weekly but a 
daily mail was established, and for many years several mail 
coaches passed daily, the modern changes of routes by rail roads, 
and plank roads, have withdrawn these lines, and almost de- 
prived the town of a stated mail service. The proprietors of 
the town never expended a dollar upon the roads or bridges in it. 

The first saw mill in town was built by W' illinm Hadsall, and 
John A. Eggleson, from Greenwich, New York, in 1802, on 
Mill Creek, near the line of Rutland, where several years after- 
wards a grist mill was built. In 1804, David Coffeen removed 

130 Champion* 

from Rutland to the west side of the river, opposite Carthage, 
and in 1806 built a mill on this side of the river, which was 
the first hydraulic improvement at that place. Finding the sup- 
ply of water in the channel insuflScient, he constructed a wing 
dam partly across the river, which was completed by Le Ray, 
upon his commencing his iron works at Carthage. One and a 
half miles from the present village of Champion, towards the 
Great Bend, is a hamlet known as The Huddle, where mills 
and a distillery were erected several years before the war. 

It has been intimated, that Champion had been contemplated 
as the probable centre of a new county. A special meeting was 
held November 13th, 1804, to choose delegates to discuss this 
measure, and Egbert Ten Eyck, Olney Pearce, and John Durkee, 
were chosen by ballot for this purpose. At the same meeting, 
the two latter were recommended for appointment as justices of 
the peace. In 1806, $100 was raised for killing the Canada 
thistle, to be expended by a committee consisting of Abel Crand- 
all, Olney Pearce, and [name illegible]. Wolf bounties of $6, 
were offered in 1807-8-9-10-11-12-13. In 1812, panther 
bounty $5, and fox bounty 50 cents. In 1815, fox bounty $1, 
wolf and panther bounty $10. In 1820, 50 cents for foxes; 25 
cents for young foxes. Wolf and panther bounty $10. Every 
man required to cut the Canada thistles growing in the road, in 
front of his lands, under a penalty of $ I for each thistle. In 
1822 a bounty of 50 cents for foxes, both old and young. 

While referring to the subject of bounties, the following may 
not be inapplicable. 

The anecdote is related, that a magistrate in this town, having 
had an altercation with a leading citizen in Lowville, heard that 
his opponent had offered a bounty of $5 for his head. Feeling 
somewhat uneasy under this, he resolved to ascertain its truth, 
and made the journey on foot on purpose to demand satisfaction, 
or a withdrawal of the offensive reward. Upon reaching the 
place, he found the person of whom he was in search, in com- 
pany with several others, and not wishing to make their quarrels 
a subject of publicity, he requested a private interview. This 
was promptly refused, on the ground that there was nothing be- 
tween them that required secresy, and he was told that if he had 
any thing to say, he might say it where he was. He then com- 
menced by repeating the story he had beard, and demanded 
whether it was true. His enemy denied at once the charge, 
calling his neighbors to witness whether they had ever known 
liim guilty of the folly as the offering of such a sum, but admit- 
ted that he might have bid twenty shillings^ and was very sure 
he had never gone higher! Finding that it was impossible to 
get this bounty taken off, he returned home. We are not in- 

Champion. 131 

formed of the result, or whether the reward was sufficient to 
tempt the cupidity of his neighbors. 

We have alluded to the fact that this town was owned at the 
time of settlrment by Henry Champion, of Colchester, and Lem- 
uel Storrs, of Middletown, Ct. On the 12th of May, 1813, an 
instrument was t'xecuted between them, by which the latter con- 
veyed, for $18,300, his half of the sums due for lands in this 
town and Houndsfield, but this conveyance not being delivered 
during the lifetime of Storrs, was subsequently confirmed by his 

At Champion Village is a Congregational and .a Methodist 
church, (the latter newly erected), a stone edifice built for 
academic purposes, an inn, union store, and about twenty dwell- 
ings. The academic building was built in 1836, by Freemasons, 
partly with the funds of their lodge, and partly by subscription; 
the lower story being devoted to schools, and the upper to a 
lodge room. It is managed by five trustees appointed by the 
lodge. The village is on the state road, where crossed by the 
Great Bend and Copenhagen Plank Road, and is seven miles 
from Denmark, four from Carthage, five from Great Bend, six 
from Felt's Mills, twelve from Watertown, and five from Copen- 

The village of Great Bend, is situated mostly on the south 
side of Black River, about a mile below where it bends from a 
northern to a westward course, and at the point where the Chas- 
sanis line crossed the river. A bridge was built here about 
1804, which in 1807, was swept off by the spring flood, which 
in that year was very general in this section of the state, and of 
extraordinary height. It was soon rebuilt. In 1840, a sub- 
stantial covered bridge at this place was burned, and a few weeks 
after, an act was passed authorizing a loan of $2,500 to the town 
of Champion, $750 to Le Ray, $2000 to Wilna, and $750 to 
Pamelia, for building bridges over Black River, among which 
were those at this place and Carthage. These loans were to be 
repaid by a tax in eight equal annual instalments. 

The first improvements at the Great Bend were commenced 
by Olney Pearce and Egbert Ten Eyck, who purchased a pine lot 
of one hundred acres in the vicinity, and entered into an engage- 
ment to build a dam, which was done by a Mr. Tubbs, and a saw 
mill was erected in 1806. Henry G. Gardner subsequently be- 
came interested in the improvements, and in 1807, the mill 
which had been destroyed in the flood was rebuilt. In 1809, a 
distillery was got in operation, and in 1816, the premises were 
sold to Watson & Gates, who in 1824, conveyed them to Charles 
E. Clarke, by whom the water power and mills are still owned. 

* Jefferson Deeds, 0, p. 28C. 

132 Champion* 

A destructive fire occurred at the Great Bend, March 6, 1840, 
by which the grist milJ, bridge and other property were burned. 
The loss was estimated at $20,000. The mill was immediately 
rebuilt on an extensive scale. 

The river has here a fall of about sixteen feet, and both above 
and below a succession of rapids occur, which from Carthage to 
the lake amount to 480 feet. Of this the Long Falls, below 
Carthage, have 57 feet, and from thence to this place the fall is 
33 feet. 

The village of Great Bend, being at the crossing of an import- 
ant and early traveled road into the northern part of the county, 
naturally became a place of some business, and has at present a 
large grist mill, a saw mill, two inns, two stores, a Baptist church 
and thirty or forty families. 

In 1834, Joseph C. Budd, Wm. Bones, and Benj. Bentley, 
erected a blast furnace in Champion, west of the river, opposite 
Carthage, which was 26 feet square at the base, and 32 feet 
high. It was run but four blasts, the first two on bog ore alone 
when, it was abandoned in 1836. About 1000 tons of iron were 
made at this furnace, with the cold blast. No castings were 
made here. The parties owning it had in Feb. 1833, purchased 
of Aristarchus Champion, about 320 acres, opposite Carthage, 
which was surveyed into a village plat, and sold to parties in 
New York, who caused a new survey and a map to be made by 
Nelson J. Beach. The speculation failed, and the property re- 
verted to Champion, who sold it to V. Le Ray, the present owner 
of the greater part. This village company procured an act in- 
corporating the West Carthage Iron and Lead Company ^ with a 
capital of $200,000 in shares of $500, which was incorporated 
May 15, 1837. The first directors were Ebenezer^Jesup, Jr. 
Chauncey Burke, Wolcot Hubbell, Ebenezer Griffin, and Carlos 
Woodcock, and the company was limited in duration to 25 years. 
Nothing was done towards carrying this into effect. 

West Carthage, is now assuming some importance, having 3 
saw mills (one of which is an extensive gang mill, built by Co- 
burn & Rulison, in 1852), 1 grist mill, 2 oil mills, 1 clothing 
works, 1 tannery, 1 cabinet shop, with water power, and an in- 
creasing population. It has a Congregational Church erected in 
1852, at a cost of $2000. 

A society library, was formed Dec. 24, 1823, at Champion 
village, with Martin Ellis, Allen Kilborn, Dorastus Wait, George 
L. Coughlin, and J. P. Johnson, trustees. It has been for seve- 
ral years discontinued. 

Religious Societies. — The first regular religious organization 
in the county, is believed to have been formed in this town, in 
June, 1801, by the Rev. Mr. Bascomb^ of Chester, Massachusetts, 

Champion. 133 

who \?as sent out on a missionary tour by the Ladies' Charitable 
Society, of Connecticut, and on that date formed a Congregational 
Church, The numbers that first composed it were small, and 
only occasional preaching was enjoyed until 1807, when the Rev. 
Nathaniel Button, was ordained. There were present on this 
occasion, thejlateRev. Dr. Norton, of Clinton, N. Y., Mr. Eels, of 
Westmoreland, and one or two others. Mr. Dutton maintained 
for nearly forty years, the pastoral relation with this church, and 
became in a great degree identified with the religious movements 
not only of the town, but county, and was instrumental in effect- 
ing numerous church organizations in this section. The fol- 
lowing notice, published soon after his death, was written by the 
Rev. David Spear, of Rodman, who for a period quite as long, 
has labored in the ministry at that place, and whose opportuni- 
ties for knowing the character and worth of the subject of the 
notice were most ample. 

" Diedy in Champion, New York, September 9th, 1852, Rev. 
Nathaniel Dutton, aged 73 years, the first settled minister in 
Jefferson County. His parents live in Hartford, Vermont. The 
son, having become pious in early life, devoted himself to the work 
of the ministry, graduated at Dartmouth in 1802, studied theology 
under Dr. Lyman of Hatfield, commenced preaching in 1805 
under the approval of Hampshire Association, was sent by the 
Hampshire Missionary Society to labor in the Black River 
countrj', and in 1807 was installed pastor of the First Congre- 
gational church in Champion. 

For several years there was almost a continuous revival among 
bis people, with constant accessions to the church. In 1817 he 
witnessed a general revival, which in a few months added 168 
members to the church. Abundant as were his pastoral duties, he 
frequently visited destitute regions around him, to preach the 
word and administer the ordinances, and to organize churches. 
He also made himself useful by directing the studies of young 
men, preparatory to their college course. But few have performed 
more labor, or daily exhibited more of the fruits of righteous- 
ness. His uniformly pious and consistent life gave great weight 
to his pulpit and other instructions. He was a scribe well in- 
structed, rooted and grounded in the doctrines of the Bible, and 
a firm believer in the form of church polity he inherited from 
his Puritan ancestors. He resided with his people forty -six 
years; and although the pastoral relation was dissolved several 
years before his decease, he ever cherished towards them the 
tenderest sympathy and most affectionate regard. He never 
ceased his efforts to win souls to Christ, till compelled by disease. 
The Congregational churches of Carthage and Philadelphia will 
long remember his faithful labors among them in his declining 

134 Champion. 

years. The Consociation to which he belonged, have lost a 
friend and counselor, and a venerated father. His last sickness 
was short but distressing, which he bore with Christian patience 
and submission. He died in the full hope of a glorious immor- 
tality. ' Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his 
saints.' " 

A convention of ministers and churches, assembled at Cham- 
pion, September 22d, 1807, voted a proclamation recommending 
to the inhabitants of the Black River settlements, the observance 
of the first Thursday of December next, as a day of thanks- 
giving and praise. This document set forth in general terms the 
obligations felt toward Divine Providence for the blessings of 
the year, and advised religious services to be performed in the 
several churches. It was signed by a vote of the convention, 
James Murdock, moderator, Nathaniel Dutton, scribe, and pub- 
lished in the Black River Gazette, at Martinsburgh, then the 
only paper north of Utica. The governors of the state had not 
then adopted the custom of appointing a day of thanksgiving, 
as is now the invariable custom. 

The First Congregational Society of the town of Champion, 
was formed May 7th, 1805, Jonathan Carter, Abel Crandel, Joel 
Mix, Noadiah Hubbard, Joseph Paddock, and' John Canfield, 
being the first trustees. On the 4th of July, 1807, Champion & 
Storrs conveyed to the town two acres on the summit of a hill, 
that overlooks the village, for^the site of a church and a public 
green, and it was contemplated to begin the erection of a church 
soon after, but the w^ar that followed, directed attention from the 
object until 1816, in which year Noadiah Hubbard contracted 
to build a church edifice to be paid in the sale of pews, but it 
being expensive he never realized the cost. It was completed 
at a cost of $5000 and dedicated December 25th, 1816. General 
Champion had promised the town a bell, as a compliment for 
having had his name given to it, and this was accompanied by 
the following letter dated Hartford, September 9th, 1816, and 
addressed to Mr. Hubbard. 

" The bell for your meeting house, was shipped from this 
place for Albany, about ten days past. The tongue" is made 
fastened to the bell. I expect before this it is in Albany. It 
weighs a little short of 800 pounds, and it is said by Col. Ward 
to be a very good one. The bell they first cast appeared not 
to be as perfect as they wished, and of course they broke it to 
pieces, and cast another. I hope it will arrive safe, and be 
satisfactory to your society. I am, sir, your very humble servant, 

JVoadiah Hubbard. Henry Champion.'* 

The first church being in a bleak and exposed situation, diflS- 
cult of access, and in many respects uncomfortable, was taken 

Chytovu 135 

down in the summer of 1841, and rebuilt in the valley, it hav- 
ing been completed and dedicated in the fall of that year. 

A Baptist church in this town in 18 18, reported twenty-five 
members, and the First Baptist Ecclesiastical Society, was 
formed October 16th, 1826, with Moses C. Merrill, Elisha 
Jones, Thomas Campbell, Elisha Bentley, Moses Miller, Sidney 
Hastings, and James Thompson, trustees. There was no house 
of worship erected in town by this order until 1842. A church 
in North Rutland on the 6th of January, 1842, decided to re- 
build at the Great Bend, and formed, January 27th, 1842, a 
society with Cicero Potter, Miner C. Merrill, Thomas P. Fran- 
cis, Daniel Potter, and Henry G. Potter, trustees. In May 1843, 
a subscription was drawn up for this purpose, and in December 
the house was completed and dedicated. It is 36 by 48 feet, 
and cost with fixtures $1400. 

The Methodists first organized a legal society December 30th, 
1825, with M. Andrews, Wilson Pennock, and Josiah Town- 
send, trustees. A second society was formed, April 11th, 1827, 
^ith Samuel Loomis, William Davis, and Wilson Pennock, 
trustees. A church was built in 1826 or 7, in this town, two 
miles from the Great Bend, at a cost of $700. It is a plain and 
cheap, but comfortable edifice. In the season of 1853, this 
denomination has built a chapel in Champion Village. On the 
South Road in this town a Union church exists. 

The Congregational church of East and W^est Carthage was 
formed in 1830 by Rev. N. Dutton and J. H. Monroe. A society 
was formed, August 4th, 1838, with C. J. Hewett, Alfred Lath- 
rop, John Vrooman and S. Gilbert, trustees. In 1852, they 
erected a church in W^est Carthage at a cost of $2000. The 
Rev. J. A. Northrup, C. F. Halsey, W. Woolcot, N. Dutton, H. 
Doane and H. H. Waite have been employed as stated supplies. 
While Mr. Doane was in charge of this church, he withdrew 
from the Consociation and united with the Presbytery, having 
formed of a portion of the members a Presbyterian church, who 
have an organization in the village of Carthage. 


This town, embracing two-fifths of Penet's Square from the 
West side, with a small tract north and a triangular gore west of 
that patent, was organized from Orleans and Lyme, by an act of 
April 27, 1833, the first town meeting being directed to be held at 
the house of Isaac L. Carter. The name was given in honor of 
the Hon. John M. Clayton, United States Senator from Delaware. 

At the first town meeting, held June 4, 1833, Hubbell Fox was 
chosen supervisor; B. F. Faxon, clerk; Jesse Noyes, Abram 
Burdick, Bariah Carpenter, Jr., assessors; Caleb Closson, James 

136 Clayton. 

Barney, overseers of poor; Samuel P. Payne, Lloyd B. Traver, 
EJkanah Corbin, commissioners of highways; Alfred Fox, John 
Consaul, Jr., Joseph Mason, com^s schools; Nathan B. Morton, 
Josiah Farer, David Baker, inspector oj* schools; Erastus Warner, 

Supervisors, — 1833-4, Hubbell Fox; 1835, Edward C. Ban- 
croft; 1836, Eldridge G. Merrick; 1839, Henry D. Van Camp; 
1840-1, E. G. Merrick; 1842, Woodbridge C. George; 1843-4, 
Alfred Fox; 1845, E. G. Merrick; 1846, Alfred Fox; 1847, 
Erastus Warner; 1848, James Plumb; 1849-53, Alfred Fox; 
1853, at a special town meeting, May 17, Luke E., to fill 

From an intimation on page 38, of this volume, it is learned 
that at an ancient period there was an Indian fort at French 
Creek in this town, but of the date and details, or even the locality, 
we know nothinqr. In 1799*^ there was a single log hut at this 
place, probably that of some timber thieves, who plundered the 
frontier without restraint or limit, during many years before any 
one appeared to show title. Mr. Nathan Ford, the pioneer of 
Ogdensburgh, in a letter to Samel Ogden on this subject, dated 
Dec. 27, 1799, wrote: 

" There are several persons now cutting timber upon the two 
upper townships. I have no authority to say any thing about the 
matter; but vast injury will take place upon the townships, and 
if there are not measures taken immediately, not less than thirty 
or forty thousand staves, over and above the square timber which 
is now getting, that will be taken olf. Mr. Wilkins, took 
down the numes of several who pretended to settle; their motive 
was only stealing off the timber. The thing is now working as 
I told him would be the case, and if something is not done about 
this business, great destruction will arise. An example ought to 
be made, and this can not be done without sending an officer 
from Fort Stanwix. They have got the timber so boldly that 
they say there is no law that can be executed upon them here." 

To Governeur Morris he wrote, July 16, 1800. 

" I was in hopes I should have heard something about the road, 
before now. If there were a land communication to the Mohawk 
River, we should all experience less depredations. The difficulty 
of a communication to the southern part of the state, is well known 
to the timber thieves, and they count upon the almost impossi- 
' bility of bringing them to justice.'' 

As these lands were not within Ford's jurisdiction he could 
only advise in the matter, but in one or two instances, in which 
he was directly interested, he .took summary measures in hand, 
and adopted a course that put an effectual stop to these robberies. 

* History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, p. 262. 

Clayton. 137 

In the portion of this town embraced in Penet Square, there 
was more of this lawless plunder, because for several years after 
the tract began to settle, there was no resident agent, or acknow- 
ledged owner. This state of things led to many abuses, and gave 
rise to incidents that will be specified in our account of Orleans, 
which then comprised the whole tract. 

The first permanent settlement in Clayton was made in 1801 
or 2, by Bartlet, at a place still called Bartlet\s Point, about a 
mile from Clayton Village. He had been placed there by Smith 
and Delamater, land assents at Chaumont, to keep a ferry to 
Gannonoqui, but after slaying a year or two, set fire to his house, 
as tradition says, and ran away by its light. 

In the winter of 18(K^4 Smith and Delamater undertook the 
erection of a saw mill, on Wheeler Creek, near its mouth, in the 
present town of Clayton. The expense attending this measure, 
embarrassed them considerably, and contributed to their subse- 
quent failure. 

The first industrial operations at French Creek, of any magni- 
tude, were commenced a few months before the war. 

On the 3d of Feb. 1812, a contract was executed between 
Le Ray and Richard Cummings, a Canadian, and Noadiah Hub- 
bard, of Champion, allowing the latter to take from certain lots 
in the vicinity of French Creek, as much timber for rafting as 
they might desire, by paying $35 per thousand feet, for squared 
yellow pine timber; $50 per thousand for white oak; and $8 per 
thousand for white and yellow pine spars. A large number of 
laborers and several teams were employed during the spring, and 
early in the season, 12,000 to 15,000 teet of pine, 1000 feet of 
white oak, and 21 masts were ready for market, besides a large 
quantity got out but left in the woods. Capt. Hubbard was 
drafted with his cornjiany of minute men. The raft was however 
got as far down as Louisville, when it was seized and detained, 
and sulisequently proved a total loss, at least to its American 
owner. Lumbering had begun on Penet Square in 1809. 

In 1820 Wm. H. Angel commenced lumber business and opened 
a small store on the crc'ck, a short distance above the point, the site 
of the present village having been reserved and lotted for a town, 
by Le Ray, who at that time was not prepared to sell. This 
measure was hastened by a plan of selling in lots, Washington 
Island adjacent, and owned by Col. Elisha Camp, the patentee 
of the island, who In 1824 begun, and in 1S26 finished a bridge 
to the island. Business had begun to be established atthispoint, 
when Mr. Le Ray thought proper to open the reserved lands for 
sale. In Jan. 1822, when the plat was first offered for sale in 
lots, the place contained three stores, a tavern, post office &c., 
and was the centre of an active lumber trade. The village and 


138 Clayton. 

post office was in 1823 named Cornelay bul in 1831 the name 
was changed to Clay tony which it has since retained. In the 
primitive patent of Penet, the creek and bay is named Weterin~ 
ghra GueiUerey an«i on some old map it is named Dumas Creek. 
It has very generally been known till the presHit time as French 
Creeky but it is losing this gradually. In 1825 a stone school 
house was built and the first school taught. 

An interesting article, dated Match 20, 1835, and published 
in the Watertdwn Eagle , on the authority of E. C. Bancrolt, A. 
O. Blair, E. G. Meirick, J. A. Brewster, and T. M. Reade, a 
committee appointed to prepare a census, and collect the history 
and statistics of the village of Clayton (French Creek), affords 
many valuable data, which become the more interesting with 
time, and will serve as a standard by which to compare the growth 
of that spirited and enterprising place. A portion of the report 
only can be quoted. 

"Less than ten years ago, the ground where now stands our 
village was without a single house, and was, we are informed by 
one of our first settlers, an almost impenetrable marsh. Now, 
93 buildings (most of which are two stories high, well finished 
and painted), are situated on the same ground, and occupied by 
73 families, making a total population of 42G, which gives to it^ 
at least, the appearance of a thriving and business little village,, 
and we may, without detracting from the merits of our neicjhboring 
villages, say, that not one in the county can show greater im- 
provements in the same period of time, than our own. Although 
"we have dated the period of the commencement of our village 
ten years back, yet we should observe that, although it began to 
settle at about that time, it did not assume any appearance of a 
village until the years 1829, ^30, and although business to a very 
considerable amount was transacted prior to that time, in and 
, about the Bay of French Creek, yet we may say, and say truly, 
that our village has attained its present size. within a period of 
five years, at which time we have ascertained, that not more than 
30 inhabitants resided here. This being the case, then our popula- 
tion, in that time, has increased near ten fold, and that increase, 
we believe (although we have not the means at hand to ascertain 
that fact), to be equal, if not greater, than the western villages 
in this state, in the same space of time, when their rapid growth 
was considered very extraordinary. 

In appearance and size, our village has also kept pace with its 
increase of population. Six years ago there were 9 buildings in 
this place; we now number 43 dwelling houses, 6 stores, ^H gro- 
ceries, 3 taverns, 1 ^eam furnace, capable of melting 4 tons of 
iron per day, 1 machine shop, 1 ship smith's shop, 1 blacksmith's 
shop, 3 shoe shops, 2 tailor shops, 1 chair shop, 2 cabinet shops, 

Clayton. 139 

1 butcher shop, 1 bakery, a school house, 5 large and commodious 
wharves, and within 1 mile of the village, 3 saw mills. Efforts 
are now making to build a church, and from the known liberality 
of our citizens, we doubt not but their efforts will be successful, 
and within a year an edifice, worthy of their liberality, will add, 
as it certainly will, both to the respectability and appearance of 
the place. Every 'branch of business as well as mechanical pur- 
suits which we have enumerated, appear to be in successful 
operation, rendering to the operatives a liberal remuneration for 
their instruments and labor. We next come to the business 
transactions of the place, which are by no means inconsiderable* 
During the last year the actual amount of capital invested in this 
business, at a low estimate, is found to be $475,000. The exports to 
foreign markets from this port amount the last year to $275,000. 
The aggregate amount of merchandise and other commodities 
sold at this place the past year, amounts to $100,000. The 
tonnage of vessels (independent of the different steam boats which 
have entered and discharged their cargoes at this port during the 
same year) amounts to 60,000 tons. In 1834 there were owned 
in this port 7 schooners, 1 brig and 1 steam boat, making an 
aggregate of 1000 tons. Within four years there has been built 
at the ship yard in this place, up to the present year, 6 schooners, 
of about 100 tons each, 1 canal boat and 1 steam boat, and there 
are now being built 5 schooners, at an average cost of i^4,300 
each, making an expenditure of about $70,000, for ship building 
alone " 

After enumerating the peculiar facilities, afforded by the loca- 
tion for trade with Kingston, and other points on the lake and 
river, they express the belief that the want of water powder, 
hitherto felt, might be overcome by constructing a dam at the 
mouth of the creek, which might also serve the purpose of a 
bridge, the cost of which was estimated at $2,460. . The report • 
ended with the following language. 

"Whenever the advantages, which it has been found we pos- 
sess, are improved, a new impetus will necessarily be given to 
the business as well as the growth of our village, and were we 
disposed to speculate upon what our village will be five years 
hence, we might incur a charge of being influenced by visionary 
and idle prospects. But aside from any contemplated advantages, 
we think there are those which the place already possesses, suffi- 
cient to give our village still further improvements, by no means 
inconsiderable, both as to the business and the appearance of the 
place. We have that which is indispensably necessary for the 
growth and prosperity of all villages; and that is, a rich and 
fertile country, adjacent to, and around us, which is becoming 
well settled by industrious and worthy inhabitants. The com- 

140 Clayton. 

mercial operations on the lakes and river, are rapidly increasing, 
and with all our natural advantages, for the transaction of this 
branch- of business, together with citizens of enterprise, allowing 
our improvements to be such only as business, will warrant, and 
require, we can not but think our improvements for the future 
will have a comparison with the past, and that there are induce- 
ments for the investment of capital and opportunities for men of 

The business of ship building began at Clayton in 1832, by 
Smith & Merrick, and has been since continued, giving employ- 
ment to about a hundred men. From two to ibnr vessels have 
been built here annually, making a total of from sixty to seventy, 
including most of the splendid steamers of the Ontario and St. 
Lawrence Steam Boat Company's lines. This business began 
here at about the time when the burdensome tonnage duties upon 
the lakes, amounting almost to a prohibition, had been removed 
in part through th^ influence of the Hon. Joseph Hawkins of 
Henderson, who represented this district in Congress. From this 
time there existed no limit to the size of vessels, but that of the 
locks of the Welland Canal. The first vessels built here were 
the Jesse Smith and Horatio Gates, in 1832. The Franklin, 
Jefferson, Willet, Monroe, Madison, Cleopatra, Morgiana, D. 
Webster, Robert Wood, E. G. Merrick, Oneida, Western, St. 
Lawrence, John Oades, D. N. Barney, Niagara, Superior, Invin- 
cible, New York, Quebec, Manchester, Utica, Reindeer, Oneida 
Chief, America, Flying Cloud, Sovereign of the Lakes, Northern 
Light, White Cloud, White Squall, and Thousand Islands, have 
since been built. 

The principal ship builder for several years has been Mr. John 
Oades, and most of the vessels have been constructed for the firm 
of Fowler and Esselstyn. To secure the privileges of a coasting 
trade with Canada, which are granted to vessels that are built on 
British soil only, a ship yard was several years since opened by 
the same parties at the foot of Wolf or Grand Island, in Canada, 
and four or five miles above this port. There is also a rafting 
station at the same place, which has been established for the 
purpose of evading the duties to which Canadian timber would 
be liable, if made up into rafts, and despatched from an American 

The steamers that have been built at Clayton, are the JSTiagaray 
473 tons; Cataract, 577 tons; Ontario, 832 tons; Bay State, 
900 tons, and J\i€w York, 994 tons. The steamers British Queen, 
279 tons, and British Empire, 330 tons, with the brigs Quebec 
and Manchester, and other craft, have been built at Wolf Island. 
The aggregate amount of tonnage built for the above firm since 
1849, has been nearly 8000 tons, and the business is still actively 

Clayton. 141 

pursued. This ship building gives employment to a great num- 
ber of mechanics. The bay of French Creek has been since 
1S24, a very important lumbering station for hewn timbj^r and 
oak staves, which have been mostly brought here in vessels, from 
the upper lakes and from Canada, and made up into rafts for 
Quebec, where it was again loaded in vessels for foreign market 
Some idea may be formed of the magnitude of this business from 
the fact that a single firm, employing 300 men, sent off a raft of 
trom 18 to 24 cribs every eight days duringtheseasonof rafting, 
which lasted from midsummer till September. Staves are rail^ 
on pine floats, 52 feet long, and holding 6000 standard pieces. 
A raft of oak timber required pine timber to make it buoyant 
enough to pass the rapids, and one of these would sometimes in- 
clude 100,000 cubic feet. The time occupied in descending is 
three or four weeks, and Indian pilots were commonly employed 
in the more difficult rapids. The year 1826, was remarkable for 
its reverses, which ruined many lumbermen. In 1841 and 1846, 
Congress passed laws that checked the business of rafting Canada 
lumber on our shores, by requiring duties to be paid. The busi- 
ness that formerly centered in the bay of French Creek, has 
accordingly been divided, a part going to Garden Island, near 
Kingston, and a part to the foot of Wolf Island. The business 
at present gives employment to about 100 men in making up 
rafts, and a fleet of eighteen vessels in bringing the timber from 
the upper lakes. From 60,000 to 80,000 cubic feet of hewn 
timber and a million of standard staves* are sent annually. 

Rafts are sent less frequently, but larger, now than formerly, 
sometimes including 35 drams, each 50 by 200 feet, which are 
propelled by the current, by sails, and sometimes by towing. In 
passing the rapids, the raft is separated into sections or drams of 
two cribs each, and passed singly. The business of rafting, at 
Clayton, is now mostly carried on by £. G. Merrick, Esq., and 
associates, who since 1828, have conducted a large business at 
this village in lumbering, ship building, and merchandise. 

The village of Clayton is regularly laid out, and has at present 
a population of about 1000. It is the proposed terminus of the 
Black River and Utica Rail Road, is a landing for all the American 
steamers on the lake, and in some respects it offers inducements 
for business, which no other place in the county affords. The 
Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics, have each a church in the 
village. It was surveyed by Clark W. Candie in 1824, and re- 
surveyed in 1833 by Oliver Child. 

Near this village commences the head of the Thousand Isles, 
many of which are in sight, presenting a very picturesque ap- 

* A standard stave is Oi feet long, 5i inches wide, and 2 inches thick. 

142 Clayton, 

f)earance, and directly opposite is Grindstone Island, one of the 
argest of the group, being upwards of live miles in length, and 
from tvo to three in breadth. This island, with Wells Island, 
and many others were claimed by the St. Regis Indians at an 
early day, and leased by their agent to British subjects, for long 
terms of years. Upon survey of the boundary in 1818, they were 
found to belong to our government, and in 1823, upon these islands 
being patented- by the state, in pursuance of an agreement with 
Macomb, difficulties arose that threatened for a time to result in 
serious measures, and which have been known locally as the War 
of Griiids'tone Island. A quantity of pine timber had been cut, 
and prepared for rafting, which was claimed by the patentee, but 
was refused to be given up by those in whose possession it was. 
Finding it probable that any attempt to serve legal papers upon 
the parties alledged to be trespassers would be resisted, a detach- 
ment of militia from Lyme, under Capt. S. Green, was called out. 
The timber had mostly been passed over into British waters, and 
after some firing, the party in charge of the timber dispersed. 
One of the militia men was accidentally killed by his own gun. 
The question subsequently became a subject of litigation, and was 
finally settled by arbitration. 

Another incident occured in this town, that has its parallel 
only in the theft of a town meeting, as related of Brownville. 
A saw mill had been erected in the vicinity, it is said upon a 
verbal agreement, which subsequently became a subject of dif- 
ference between Mr. La Farge, the proprietor, and the lumber- 
man. The latter resolved that he would neither comply wMth the 
terms demanded, nor allow others to enjoy the fruits of his labors, 
and early one morning not long after, the timbers of a saw mill 
were seen floating in the bay, no one professing to know 
how they came there and it is supposed to have been in some 
way connected with spiritual manifestations, more especial- 
ly as spirits were often brought in quantities in this place for 
smuggling into Canada. 

The islands in this vicinity have many associations connected 
with the war of 1812, and affairs growing out of the Patriot 
movement, which will be detailed in our chapters on this subject. 
An engagement occurred between General Brown's advanced 

{fuard of Wilkinson's expedition, and the British at this place, 
ate in. 1813, of which we give the details elsewhere. During 
the embargo period of 1808, the old French Road, that had been 
cut through in a nearly direct line from the High Falls to the 
river at this point, became a thoroughfare for teams laden with 
potash, and this contraband trade continued with comparative 
impunity till the commercial restriction was removed. 
Penet's Square Corners on the Bay of French Creek near this 

4 Clayton. 143 

place, and the proprietors of that tract^ anticipating that this 
property would possess value as the site tor a 
town, subdivided four of the mile squares near-l 
est the corner, the one on the bay into 64 lots,] 
often acres each, and the three others into 161 
lots of 40 acres each. In ballotinu^ for a divi 
sion, each owner drew a proportionate number' 
of these lots, which like the large tract were! 
numbered from west to east and back, commen- 
cing at the north-west and ending at the south west corners. 
These subdivisions are shown in the annexed sketch. 

DepauvillBy on Chaumont River, at the head of boat naviga- 
tion, and six miles above Chaumont Bay, was named from Fran- 
cis Depau, an importing merchant and capitalist of New York, 
who purchased 15 lots on Penet's Square. This place, at first, 
bore the name of Cat Fish Fcdlsy by which it is still sometimes 
called. The creek above the place is still called Cat Fifth Creek. 
The* first improvement was begun by Simon and Jared White, 
who came on as trespassers to get out lumber, but being warned 
off by the agent, left a large amount of hewn timber that rotted 
on the ground. From this place they removed to Three Mile 
Point on Chaumont Bay, where, after a short sojourn, they 
started in May, 1817, for the west, in an open boat. The party 
consisted of the brothers, their mother, wives, and children, 11 
in all, and had arrived in Houndsfield, a mile or two beyond 
Sackets Harbor, where they put up for the night. After leaving 
this place they were never seen alive. There were many disso- 
lute sailors and soldiers, lounging about the neighborhood, their 
boat was found robbed of household goods, several hundred dol- 
lars in the possession of the men were gone, and their bodies 
exhibited unmistakable marks of violence. The children were 
found drowned, but the bodies of the women were never found. 
These circumstances, warranted the belief of robbery and mur- 
der, but although the excitement was intense and general, 
nothing occurred to settle suspicion upon any party sufficient to 
warrant an arrest. 

In 1816, Nathaniel Norton, Jr., who had previously been a 
merchant at Russia, New York, came as agent of C. H. & E. 
Wilkes, owners of 12,000 acres on Penet's Square, and ad- 
joining Depauville.* Soon after, David and Nathaniel Holbrook 
came to the Falls, and with their father, under a contract of 
Alexander Le Ray, the agent of Depau, erected a rude apology 
for a saw and grist mill, but upon failure of payment, the 
premises were sold in 1824 to Stephen Johnsoir and Peter Mar- 

* Hispower of attorney is dated June 20th, 1820. 

144 Clayton* , 

tin, who had located as merchants and lumbermen. At this 
time there were but two or three log houses and the rude mills. 
In 1824, Mr. Johnson built a stone mill, which in 1851 was 
burned, and the year following replaced by the present mills. 

At Depauville, and vicinity^ the materials for the manufacture 
of water lime, exist in vast quantities, constituting an important 
geological formation. In 1835, the manufacture of this article 
was commenced by Stephen Johnson of this place, Mr. King, 
formerly of Onondaga County, Joel Murray and Jared House of 
Lowville. Mr. Johnson was interested to the extent of one half, 
and two mills were fitted up for grinding it. During two years 
that the business continued, about 1000 barrels were made, and 
mostly used in the construction of cisterns in tliis and neighbor- 
ing towns. This was the first enterprise of the kind in the 
county. At a future time it may give employment for the indus- 
try of great numbers, and a prolitable source of investment of 

Depauville is 6 miles from Chaumont; 6 from La Fargeville; 
8 from Clayton^ 6 from Stone Mills; 9 Limerick, and 11 from 

Religious Societies. — A Methodist Society was formed in 
Clayton, December 20, 1833, with Silas F. Spicer, Amos 
Reynolds, Willis Howard, James H. Fuller, and Amos Gillet, 
trustees. A society of the same denomination was formed at 
Depauville, November 25, 1834, with Martin Spicer, Abel F. 
How, Caleb Closson, Warcham Case, and Timothy O'Connor, 
trustees. Churches were built by each of these, here, and four 
miles south, toward the Perch River settlements. In 1835, a 
Congregational Church was formed of members residing in this 
town and Orleans, by the Rev. Marcus Smith of Watertown. 

A Free Communion Baptist church was Ibrmed in August, 1820, 
by Elder Amasa Dodge, of Lowville, consisting at first of four- 
teen members. He was succeeded by Elders Russel Way, Jacob 
Overocker, W^elcome Pigley, S.B. Padding, Samuel Hart, Ansel 
Griffith, and N. H. Abbey. The present number is 73. A so- 
ciety was formed August 26, 1841, with Nahum D. Williams, 
Phineas A. Osborn, and Helon Norton, trustees; and in Decem- 
ber, 1848, it was reorganized. In 1838, a union church was 
built of stone at Depauville, Mr. Depau contributing $500 
towards its cost. The Universal ists at present own a quarter, 
the Free Will Baptists a half, and the Congrep^ationalists and 
Baptists the remainder. It cost $2,200. In 1852, the Method- 
ists erected a new church at this village, at a cost of $2,400. 
This denomination is much the most numerous in town. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Clayton, and 
Orleans, was formed March 11, 1841, with Henry Haas, Val- 
entine Baldtuff, ^and Nicholas Lehr, trustees. The Evangelical 

JEllisburgh. 145 

Church in Clayton was formed December 21, 1841, with John 
Haller, Valentine Dorr, Jr., and Andrew Bahz, trustees. Both 
of these have erected houses of worship between Depauville 
and La Fargeville. 

The Third Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Clayton was formed October 5, 1840, with E. G. Merrick, John 
N. Fowler, Perry Caswell, John Wilson, Fairfield Hartford, 
Woodbridge C. George, and Adonijah Brui>h, trustees. They 
own a convenient and elegant church edifice in the village of 

The First Baptist Society, of Clayton Village, w^as formed 
October 6, 1840, with Dillino D. Calvin, Henry Hubbert, Henry 
Walt, Edward Burchell, and Alpheus R. Calvin, trustees. A 
church was formed of seventeen members, by Rev. E. G. Blount 
(who has since been pastor), February 14, 1843. The first chui ch 
in the village was built by Baptists and Methodists, but the 
former, having sold their interest in 1847, built a church at a 
cost of $2,000. The present number (July 1853) is 117; total, 
since beginning, about 200. A small Baptist church has existed 
several years at Depauville, which was formed by Mr. Blount. 

The Catholics erected a church in Clayton Village in 1841, and 
are considerably numerous. 


This town, embracing Minos and Henderson (No. 6, as desig- 
nated on the surveyer general's map), was erected from Mexico, 
into a township on the 22d of Feb. 1803; the first town meeting 
being directed to be held at the house of Lyman Ellis, at which 
the following town ofticers were chosen: Edward Boomer, ^wper- 
visar; Lyman Ellis, clerk; Caleb Ellis and Amos B. Noyes, 
overseers of the poor; Jeremiah Mason, Samuel Rhodes, and Benj. 
Boomer, commisioners highways; Matthew Boomer, constable and 
Collector; Abiah Jenkins, constable; John Thomas, Christopher 
Edmonds, and Dyer McCumber,ye7ice viewers; C. Ellis, Jeremiah 
Mason, Timothy Harris, Benj. Boomer, D. McCumber. Joseph 
Hoi ley, overseers oj highways. 

Supervisors, — 1803, Edward Boomer; 1804, 5, Lyman Ellis; 
1806, Nathaniel Wood; 1807, L. Ellis; 1808, 9, Joseph Allen; 
1810, Orimal Brewster; 1811-14, Lyman Ellis; 1815, 16, Eben- 
ezer Wood; 1817, L. Ellis; 1818-20, Pardon Earl; 1821, E. 
Wood; 1822,23, P. Earl; 1824-29, VVadsworthMayhew; 1830, 
Daniel Wardwell; 1831-36, Jothara Bigelow; 1837, Ezra 
Stearns; 1838, Samuel Hackley; 1839, E. Stearns; 1840, Wm. 
C. Pierrepont; 1841, 42, Ezra Stearns; 1843, Wm. C. Pierrepont; 
1844, John Littlefield; 1845, James Jones; 1846, 47, Wm. C. 
Pierrepont; 1848, 49, John Clark; 1850, Alvah Bull; 1851, 52, 
James J. Steele; 1853, Alexander Dickinson. 

146 Ellishurgh. 

Wolf bounties of $2-50 in 1803; of $15 in 1807,8; of $10 io 
181 1, 12. In 1804, 5, ''Resolved, that the method of voting shall 
be by each person's passing round and naming the persons he 
would wish to elect, to fill the several otHces." In 1816 voted 
to build a town house. 

This town derives its name from Lyman Ellis, of Troy, who 
settled as a proprietor in 1797, and who afterwards for several 
years acted as an agent. He died in town, March 13, 1847, 
aged 87. His character is briefly summed up in his epitaph: 
"Modesty, honesty, and charity, adorned his walk in life." 

On the 11th of April 1796, Marvel Ellis,* of Troy, N. V!, con- 
tracted with Wm. Constable, for the purchase of this town, 
excepting a marshy tract, each side of Sandy Creek, near the 
lake, which was afterwards included, and a tract of 3000 acres, 
in the south-west corner, sold to Blown and Eddy. The sum of 
$22,111-50 was paid, and a deed given, March 22, 1797, upon 
which a mortgage was given back upon the balance, amounting 
to $98,943*45. This mortgage embarrassed the early sales, and 
confidence was not restored, until the property had reverted to 
the Constable estate, some years afterwards. 

The greater part of the town was surveyed by Calvin Guiteau, 
in 1796, 'except the eastern part, that was surveyed by Nelson 
Doolittle, and the 3000 acre tract in 1800, by Benjamin Wright, 
of Rome; the latter, in 1808, surveyed the whole town. A 
proposition had been received from Moody Freeman, for the 
purchase of the town, but a bargain was not effected.. The town, 
including the marshes, w^hich in dry seasons afford wild grass, but 
which are often flowed, contains 54,7213 acres. The field notes 
of Guiteau, made in 1796, contain the following memoranda. 

Lot 23 (three miles above Ellis Village). "About 5 chains 
west, from the north east corner, are falls often or twelve feet, but 
not perpendicular more than four or five feet, which do not 
obstruct the salmon, as I found many above." 

Lot 34 (next west of 23). "About 20 chains from the west 
line is a small fall in the creek, where the water is confined to a 
narrow channel, and then expands out, forming a depth of ten or 
twelve feet of water of a smooth rocky bottom, and filled with 
innumerable multitude of salmon, the clearness of the water 
being such that they may be seen in any part of it." In the 
early settlement of the country these fish ascended as far up as 
the town of Rodman, but since the erection of dams and mills, 
they have scarcely appeared in Sandy Creek. 

In the spring of 1797, Marvel and Lyman Ellis, brothers, and 
both interested in the purchase, found their way into town, the 

* Marvel EUit died io Utica, in 1806, aged 46; be removed there io 1803. 

EUisburgh. 147 

latter with the view of permanent settlement. In the fall of the 
same year, Caleb Ellis, having met with Lyman Ellis, at Rome, 
was casually introduced with the expectation that a relationship 
existed, but none was found; yet the interview resulted in an 
invitation to settle in the new town. Caleb Ellis accordingly 
visited the town, and selected a iarm on the south branch of 
Sandy Creek, at a place where one Waldo had the year previous 
erected a hut for hunting. 

Many men were employed by Lymnn Ellis the same season, 
who had at its close built a dam and saw mill, three-fourths of a 
mile below the present site of Ellis Village, and the mill was got 
in operation the same fall, but was partly swept off early the 
next spring by a flood. In the winter of 1797-8, Wm. Hicks, 

with Buller and B. Pierce, remained in town, and in the 

spring of 1798, Caleb Ellis and fatnily, Robert Fulton, Elijah 
Richardson, Hezekiah Pierce, Chauncey Smith, Wm. Root, Vial 
Salisbury, Isaac Waddle, Abram Wilcox, two men by the name 
of Thornton, and others, came into town with Lyman Ellis, to 
rebuild the mill, and erect a grist mill, but nearly all were taken 
sick, and the pioneers were reduced to great suffering from want 
of provisions and necessary medical attendance. 

The first death in EUisburgh, was Mary, a young daughter of 
Caleb Ellis, and the first death of an adult, was that of Samantha 
Howard. The first birth is said to have been that of Ontario 
Pierce, a son of Hezekiah Pierce, in the summer of 1798. For 
the instruction of those who attach faith to sayings, we would 
notice that it is related as said by an old Indian, " that once in 
thirty years," there had been noticed a period of sickness among 
such of their number as had sojourned here. Whether this was 
said before or after the sickly season of 1828, we are not in- 

To supply the place of mills, Mr. Ellis and his settlers con- 
structed, after models of their own device, those primitive mortars, 
used from necessity in all new settlements, and made by boring 
and burning a cavity into the top of a hard wood stump, over 
which was suspended a pestle by a spring pole. With much 
difficulty, during the season, the saw mill was again fitted up, 
and the dam rebuilt; the iron and heavy freight as well as the 
furniture of settlers, having been brought into town in open 
boats by way of Wood Creek and Oswego. 

On the 11th of September, 1798, Marvel Ellis wrote to Con- 
stable as follows: 

" We have a good dam across the creek, which has been ex- 
pensive; a good saw mill, well finished, and running, and have 
done considerable towards a grist mill. We have on the same 
lot a large and handsome improvement, have had a fine crop of 

148 EUishurgh 

wheat, and have very fine corn. The people that are on the land, 
have good improvements for the time and are industrious. I in- 
close you an account of the small sales to the settlers, the price 
sold for, and \vhat has been received, which is a small sum in 
proportion to what has been laid out on the land; if people would 
have been satisfied of having a release from the mortgage, by 
paying you, we should have had sufficient to have made the pre- 
sent payment now due. The remainder of the money due from 
these settlers, is due within a year. We wish you to give us 
some further indulgence, and something to convince people that 
you will release from the mortgage on receiving payment, which 
will enable us to make payments for the land, and make a large 
settlement soon." 

Inclosed in the foregoing was the following list, with the num- 
ber of acres taken up by eacllt Joseph Caldwell, 60; \Vm. Hicks, 
61; John G. Hayward, 150; Caleb Ellis, 126; Neal Salsbury, 
100; Elijah Petty bone, 100; John Paddock, 50: Isaac Souther- 
land, 130; Asahel Humphrey, 419; Elisha Phillips, 100; Levi 
Root, 140; Hez Peirce, 149. 

The first corn and potatoes raised in the county by the present 
race of settlers, was by Lyman Ellis in 1797, who also, in 1798, 
was probably the first to raise winter wheat. 

The winter of 1798-9 was one of remarkable severity. Snow 
fell on the 29th of Oct. and lasted till the 20 of April. A settler 
in town (Gideon Howard) having been to Rome, was returning 
when the first snow fell, and was overtaken by night in the woods 
near Little Sandy Creek, 5 miles from home. In the morning 
the snow had fallen nearly four feet, and was so light that it was 
impossible to travel in it. He had only provision enough to last 
home without obstruction, and was detained three days, endeav- 
oring to struggle through, ha>ing constructed a pair of snow 
shoes which however were of little avail. When he reached 
home he was nearly exhausted from fatigue and hunger. 

In the spring of 1799, the dam of Ellis was again swept off, 
and the mill partly destroyed when this and the frame of a grist mill 
were removed to the present village above, and the latter was 
got in operation about 1803. 

Many interesting details of the early settlement of this town 
and county, are given in the following extracts from the diary 
of James, the brother of Wm. Constable, who in 1803-4-5-6, 
made tours in the summer months through these northern counties, 
on business connected with the estate of his deceased brother, of 
which he was one of the executors. The original copy is owned 
by Henry E. Pierrepont, Esq. of Brooklyn, who has allowed us to 
make Iht- following extracts. 

EUisburgh. 149 

• • • September 5th, 1803. "Our course was west for some time, till 
we pot to town No. 11 ^Orwell), and I began to feel interested before we 
got there. The country was very pleasant, fine forests of large timber, 
and no underwood or brush, so that although the road was no better 
than a rugged path, and not a creature to be seen, I felt much pleased, 
an we journeyed on at the rate of two and a half miles |>er hour. Wo 
could not well judge of the soil, but by the timber it was covered with, 
which is principally maple, and beech, with a small portion of hemlock, 
which denotes good soil. * • • After travelling some miles, I had at 
last the gratification of seeing a settler here (in No. 10, or Sandy Creek). 
Three men were cutting and burning large piles of enormous trees. 
Kllis being acquainted with them, we went and staid in their hut, which 
was about 12 feet square, built of logs; no chimney, and but very little 
furniture. There were two beds, in one of which a man and wife slept, 
and in the other the other two men. One man was distant from his 
family 70 miles. They had a contract from B. Wright for 500 acres at 
12* being first settlers, and from their appearance and character, I 
think the land well sold, for they are the right sort to settle the country. 
We dined on salt pork, with good bread, butter, and chocolate, much to 
my satisfiaction. 

We left them at 4 o'clock for EUisburgh, 9 miles distant, and soon 
aAer it began to rain quite hard, and continued till we got home. From 
the timber and appearances of this town I thought it superior in soil to 
any we had passed. I had the satisfaction to find that settlers and all 
other people find it equal to their wishes. We retired to bed about 8 
o'clock and slept well. It was my intention the next morning to have 
gone to see every man in the settlement, but this was unnecessary, for 
immediately after breakfast, many of them came, and some from a con- 
siderable distance. 

September 6th. Had several consultations with the settlers, who seemed 
well pleased with my coming, and satisfied with my explanations. I 
heard of a daughter of one of them who had been seized with a fit and 
lay speechless for the preceeding twenty-tour hours. There was no 
doctor on the town, and they had to send twenty miles twice, to one who 
was from home. This affected me much and determined me to |)ropose 
encouraging one to settle here, when I meet the Co-ex'rs. Perhaps a 
lot of 50 acres, given to one, would Ije well bestowed. A parson will 
also soon be applied for. I find Ellis's house and mills good buildings, 
but unfinished, but he hopes soon to complete them. They are valuable 
and should be kept up. He will be useful here, and I think has some 
strong claims upon us, as I shall explain. 

September 7th, Went after breakfast to see Lake Ontario 5 miles distant, 

and was much pleased with it A steady west gale blew up the white 

caps, which contrasting with the sea green color of the water, had a 

fine efiect. As far as the eye could reach, and the country about us 

either fine forests, or well cultivated. The more J see of the town, the 

more I am satisfied of its value. Afler my return I saw the rest of the 

aettlera, who seemed to come prepared for disappointment, but were 

800D relieved, and after some explanations, they went • away perfectly 

satisfied. I am convinced this property is extremely valuable, and will 

aettle immediately, now that they feel ihemselves free from the danger 

of title. About roads I do not know what to say. * * * Mr. Ellis has 

lived here nearly six years, and all ho has received from our testator has 

been $221, for commission on lands sold. A lot was promised him 

upon condition of his coming to reside, but he never got a deed for it, 

though his mills were first erected there from whence they have been 

150 EUisburgh. 

since removed to where they now are. He now nsks tlie ex'rs for a 
conveyance for the lot promised, being No. 94, and lor lime to pay the 
above balance, the security ior which is ample, us his buidings are 
valued at $2S)00 and the title to the lot they are upon is still with the 

There are al)out 40 families on the town, most of them poor, but of 
that description of people fit to settle a new country; few comforts 
about them, and they seem to have few wants; no liquor is to be had, 
and they have not \et begun to distill, nor are there any apples to maku 
cider, so that their only drink is water, with which they seem content 
They do not hesitate about the price of $3, but paying ^ down is very 
ditfirult for most of them. There are good horned cattle amongst them, 
the horses indifferent, but the only ones fit for a new country. They do 
not seem to regard distance, and go 9 or JO miles backward and forward 
daily, over roads that are nearly impassable. 

I regretted much to find some cases of the lake fever, and too many 
of the lever and ague. I saw two families laid up with the latter, but it 
is admitted to have declined annually, and will, I trust, soon disapfiear. 
The crops of wheat and corn are very fine. 1 ate of new corn on the 
(kh of September. 80 bushels of corn have been produced on an acre, 
but 50 is about the general run. They had not yet turned much of their 
land to meadow, as they get sufficient hay on the marshes near the lake, 
which are considered a kind of common, though they belong to us. The 
town is extremely well watered by the two branches of Sandy Creek, 
but they are the otdy constant streams,* and care must be taken that the 
lots on these waters are not all sold off, and the others left, lor the latter 
would not sell. Perhaps a new allotment would be advisable. 

September Slh. Left Ellisburgh at 4 P. M. for Capt. Boomer's, five miles 
distant, where I slept. This man owned about 100 acres in the town, 
upon which he improved about 15 acres, and the other improvements are, 
a log house, with some small buildings, lie has sold the whole for 
$900, receiving the great part down, the remainder well secured. Other 
instances of the value they set upon small improvements might be men- 
tioned, such as another man refusing $1200 for 150 acres, with little 
more done than the above, but they will be better detailed by conversation. 

September 9th, Lelt Boomer's to travel by the state road which passes 
from Ellisburgh through town 7 (Louis; now Adams), 1, 6, 7, to Redfield. 
# # # What I saw of No. 1 (Lorraine), is much inlcrior to the remain- 
der, as Wright calls the whole a good town, and it is settling fast." 

The portions relating to the territory now Oswego and Lewis 
counties are omitted. 

* * * .^uenst 21«<, 1804. "Proceeded on to Ellisburgh, and found the 
road from Ellisburgh so extremely bad, and so seldom travelled, and 
another route shorter and better presents itself, so that I have, by the 
advice of Mr. Wright, judged it advisable to alter to the latter; lie is ac- 
cordingly authorized to give 5 or 6 lots, of 50 acres each, to settlers, en- 
titling them to deeds afler a residence a certain time, on 10 and II, afler 
they have erected buildings and other improvements. The road will be 
nearly direct from Rome to Ellisburgh, and about 43 miles. 

Jiugust 23(L Went down Sandy Creek to the lake, and found the marsh 
covered with haystacks, the contents of which had grown spontaneously, 
and there are many horses and cattle at pasture, which proves that this 

♦ This was erroneous. There are numerous perennial streams in town, and 
no section of the county is better watered. F. B. H. 

EUinburgh. 151 

place in of conKequence. Some of it is indeed very fine, and people are 
rery desirous of buying, but nu judgment can l>e fornjt^d of the quantity 
of icood and Imcf, and L. Ellis, is therefore to send uie an estimate before 
the price is fixed. Went to Christopher Kdmonds on the north side of 
tiie creek. He has a fine farm and has produced the liest corn on the 
town. He expects this year a yield of about 90 bushels per acre. Tliis 
article is very fine throughout the place, but the wheat has been affected 
by the fly and rust. The establishment has flourished generally, many 
lettlers; have come in since last year, and more are expected. There are 
DOW 60 faiuilies, and though cases of fever and ague happen near the lake, 
and sometimes tlie lake fever, yet the country is a healthy one, and the 
loil po good that it will settle fast 

Jiufcust 24^. Left Ellisburgh, with directions to Ellis to sell the re- 
served lots (9), proceeding through Louis No. 7 (Adams), which is good 
land, and will settle, nearly the whole being taken up, thence through 
No. 1 (Houndsfield), formerly sold by Harrison and Hoffman to Cham- 
pion and Storrs, but which now l>elongs to several proprietors, a^nong 
tlie rest, Messrs. Kemble and Houndsfield. It is a pretty. good town, 
but has not many settlers, and the road only cut out in some places. No. 
7, has been f-old generally at $3. Arrive at Brown villc, on the north 
side of Black River where we dine at the hotel, a building too large for 
the present state of the place, and not finished. The country apfiears 
somewhat stony about the rivers, and the soil not very good. There 
are good houses and other buildings, and a good deal of clearing done. 
The water very low, and Brown's mill can not work.* He has a stoi-e 
here, and does a good deal of business with the country peo()le, to whom 
lie pays money for their produce, sending it to Montreal, where he can 
Dot always di8|K)se of it on his own account, by which he is a loser. 
Cross the river, and pass on the south side 10 miles further, through 
No. 2 (Watertown), belonging to Mr. Low, and No. 3 (Rutland), formerly 
to Mr. Henderson, but now the property of Isaac Bronson, who bought 
it at 12«, cash, which is considered a great bargain in this part, as it is 
an excellent town, and well settled. No. 2 is settling by degrees. 
S)e|»t at Butterfield's on No. 3, a poor tavein in an old log house. 

miugtisi 25fA. Pass on through No. 4 (Champion), formerly sold by 
Harrison and Hoffman to CharniMon and Storrs, a pretty good town 
tolerably well settled; 10 miles to the Long Falls, where we breakfasted 
at a middling good tavern. I find good corn universidly in the country 
passed. Tlie wintei* wheat good as usual, but that of the spring mostly 
lost by the insect or the rust (dew). What is raised, is used in the 
country by the inhabitants, and emigrants, and till there is more popula- 
tion, there will be none to spare for another market It is worth, gene- 
rally, $1 per bushel. See the falls only at a distance, in part, as it 
would take much time and trouble to examine them further. Cross the 
river in a scow, the ferry kept by Baptiste, a Frenchman, one of a con- 
siderable number who settled here some years ago ; but very few now 
remain, and the buildings being mostly in ruins, the country appears 
desolate. Proceed on 4 miles from the river, to a log hut, then 6 miles 
to another, then 12 to a third, there being but 3 settlers on the Great Tract 
No. 4, unless there are some on Penet's Square adjoining the River St. 
Lawrence.f This tract belongs to or is under the management of Mr. 
Le Ray and Mr. G. Morris, and nothing has yet been done towards 

* Thia was Philomel Creek, now entirely dry except in spring and fall.^ 
f . B. H. 
\ This is erroneous, the Square act being a part of No. 4. — F. B. H. 

152 EUisburgL 

settling: it; the three people now on have a verbal promise that they shall 
have the land at a fair price, as first settlers; but they are very anxions 
in their inquiries after Gen. Lewis Morris, who it is understood bus 
undertook the selling of 100,000 acres. The soil on the road is good, 
but it is said there is a good deal of bad land and broken ground, in the 
tract. Sleep at Lee's Tavern, 22 miles from the falls, with hard fare and 
poor lodgings. 

•^ug» 26. Pass on 5 miles to the Ox Bow, a remarkable bend in the 
east branch of Oswegatchie Kiver and a fine situation for a large house. 
There is now a log hut, at which we breakfasted, and another in sight."*** 

The journal of travel through the St. Lawrence and Franklin 

Counties and back is omitted. 

SepL 9. S it off from Lee's, after breakfast, and stop at Stearns' on No. 4, 
12 miles distance, then 10 miles more to the Black River, which we cross 
at the Long Falls, in a scow, and dine at Moseley's tavern, on the south 
side. The heat this day excessive. My companions and their horses 
suffered more tluin either I or my horse did. Proceeded on 16 miles 
further to Lbwville, through Mr. Harrison's No. 5 (Denmark), which is 
very good and well settled, the soil being very rich, and the road deep 
and muddy, especialiy for 4 or 5 miles after leaving the river, where are 
fewest settlers***. Squire Collins* gave us some information of the local 
proceedings, the division of the county, and other intrigues, and with 
what I have heard from other quarters, it appears that Stow.f and Martin,| 
have made themselves very obnoxious, and they will differ about the 
division of the county on their side of it; each will be supported by 
opposite interests, and they will be defeated by the management of the 
proprietors of Redfield, or that of Jacob Brown, of Brownville. Each 
of the gentlemen "requires a court house near to himself, and if they are 
all to be gratified, Oneida must be divided into five, but there will be 
opposition to their wishes, and ])erliaps to any division of the county, 
which would be for the interest of the land owners, as the extra expense 
would be saved." 

The remainder of tbis year's jourAal, and the first of the next 
omitted, as relating to other sections. On returning, Aug. 6, 
1805, he overtook a Mr. Ford, who was cutting out the stale 
road in No. 7 (Redfield). 

" Mr. Ford had 4 or 5 hands, and expects to increase to 10 in a few 
days. He carries with him a house, drawn on an ox sled. It is 14 by 7 
of a small scantling and thin boards, but it is a sufficient protection against 
the weather, and a comfortable place to sleep in. His daughter attends 
to cook the provisions with them, and as his farm is at Redfield, they get 
sauce (vegetables) from thence every day or two. * * * Gates' is the first 
we come to on No. 1 (Lorraine), on lot No. 75; he is but badly lodged, 
though he has made a good clearing. We found that Mr. Wright had 
not passed this way, and Gates could give us no information, but he 
informed us there was a good road to Mr. Sweet's, on No. 2 (Worth), 
where we might meet with him, if he was employed in subdividing that 
town. We, accordingly, left the state road, and struck off' east, intending 
to sleep at Sweet's. What we had seen of No. 1 pleased us better than 
the other two towns, and this appeared to us very good for the distance 
of 25 miles to Sweet's, tho' no settlers were on it. No tidings of Mr. 

* Jonathan Collins, of West Turin, afterwards judge of Lewis County Court, 
t Silas Stow, of Lowville, first judge of Lewis Co. He was Low's agent, 
t Brigadier General Walter Martin, of Martinsburgh. F. B. H. 

EUisburgh. 163 

Wright Tlie house was small, Dot a tavern, and full of people, so that 
we gave up the idea of sleeping there. Sweet and associates are pur- 
chasers of 5000 acres, that formerly belonged to Mr. Hoffman. We were 
now at least 24 miles from Alger's tavern on No. 1 (Lorraine), and it was 
late in the evening, but we set off in haste through an untried road, and 
got thereat dusk. The landlord was gone to mill, and the landlady lay 
sick of a fever. She requested to see one of us, and I went to her bed- 
side, when she expressed her regret at not being able to attend upon us, 
as she has always been attentive to travellers; — that the best the house 
could afford should be prepared ; that there was no wheat meal in the 
house, but her husband had gone for some, and the neighbors, attending 
her, would see to our accommodation, if we would stay. My companions 
concluded to go on to Mr. Hunter's, 4 or 5 miles further, but I remained, 
and after the husband returned, they got me a supper of tea, pork, and 
bread of Indian meal, and I went to bed in the same room with the 
landlady, who was indeed very sick, and attended all night, but I slept 
without waking. I should have preferred another situation, but it was 
not to be had. Alger has done but little, and does not look likely to 
succeed. He has not made any payment, and hopes for indulgence, but 
I referred him to Mr. Wright. He is on lot No. 34, and took up 73 acres, 
but has not made any payment since he came on in 1803, from which 
time interest is to commence. He has no contract 

Left early next morning, and the bridge over Salmon River being car- 
ried away, I forded it The freshet in the spring was very destructive, three 
bridges and a mill dam being carried ofl^ besides other damages. * * * 
On the way to Ellisburgh, found many settlers since last year, and the 
improvement considerable; the crops of wheat excellent, and the com 
good, as they have sufiered little from drowth. Arrived at Ellis' at noon, 
to remain 2 or 3 day& The mills are in tolerably good order, but the 
water so low they can grind only part of the day. Grists are brought 
from a great distance, and in boats from Oswego, and lower. Ellis has' 
built a small house for himself, and a good barn. * * * 

Aug, 9. Went down to the lake, and being fine weather, were rowed 
down Sandy Creek to the mouth. The lake is higher than it has been 
for some years, and more of the marsh is covered, which hos prevented 
much hay being cut. If the waters continue to rise, which they think 
probable, most of the marsh will be of no use. We returned from the 
lake, and were caught in a shower before, we got to Ellis'. The first 
rain since leaving Schenectady. * * * A schoolhouse is now building, 
near Ellis' Mills, on the same lot, to be two^tories high, the upper of 
which is to be devoted to divino service, when any minister travels that 
way. The town have also subHcribed towards building a bridge across 
the creek, at the same place, and we agreed to contribute $20, as they 
could not raise sufiicient, but they have engaged to improve the road from 
the bridge to the north line of No. 10. Dr. Dresser has but two patients, 
and there is less sickness than at any previous year in this season." 

The proprietors had adopted the practice of giving certificates, 
allowing people a certain time after exploring to go for their 
families, before taking contracts, but it was found, that in many 
cases these had been transferred, and this having grown into a 
system of speculation, was discontinued, as they were given to 
assist the first real settlers, and their transfer operated against 
the interests of both land owners and settlers. About half of 
No. 1 was at this time sold. A reputed locality of iron ore was 


164 Ettisburgh. 

Tisited on No. 6 (Redfield), which was thought upon examination 
to be coal, but which, from the description given, must have been 
the oxyde of manganese. 

^ug. 19. " Set off ID the morning, and stopped at Gates', on No. 1, 
seven miles from Drake's. Gates is an intelligent man, «nd has taken 
up no more land than he can cultivate. He states his inability to meet 
his payments and hopes for indulgence. He was told that every thing 
reasonable would be done. Passed on to Smith's Mills, 7 miles further, 
but did not stop, and arrived at Mr. Hammond's, in No. 6 ( Henderson ), 
where we got dinner, and spent the night He is settled on Stony Creek, 
about Ih miles from what is called the Harbor; has a good log house, 
built though not finished, and a stone foundation, for a large bam. 
He has cleared considerable, and owns 350 acres of land. Though 
the report is that all the land is taken up in town, he tells us there are 
6000 acres, that have not yet been surveyed. Mr. Wright expects to meet 
Mr. Henderson here, about the 20th, to survey and to lay out a village at 
the Harbor. Went in the evening to see the Harbor, 2 miles distant, and 
bathed in it It is formed by a peninsula on Lake Ontario, where Stony 
Creek empties, and tho' not a safe one, is a pretty situation. The trees 
are at present only felled, at some places, so that the prospect con not be 
judged of, but it will probably be very fine. Mr. Hopkins, the agent for 
Henderson, has begun a large house, and has gone to Vermont for his 
family. It narrowly escaped being burned to the ground, by a fire from 
a piece cleared near it in the dry weather." 

The price of land in this town is $3,50, which is high enough for the 
soil, which is very light over the rock, so that by burning a fallow, it is 
nearly consumed, and from the wind falls it appears the roots of the trees 
can get but a slight hold on the soil, on account of the rocks. 

Jlug. 15, Lefl Hammond's after breakfast, for Sackets Harbor, 12 miles 
distance. The road to Henderson's Harbor plain, but in consequence of 
the chopping, the road to the lake was shut up, and we were obliged to 
take to the woods for a mile or two, and found it difficult to get along. 
Saw two or three clearings before we reached the lake, and at each the 
road or path was almost shut up. When we reached the shore found it 
rocky and somewhat dangerous for horses. I alighted and walked some 
miles, but my companions rode the whole distance. When we came to 
a sandy beach I mounted, and we went on pleasantly for some miles, tOl 
we came to a creek* emptying from a beaver dam into the lake which 
had the appearance of being too deep to ford, but seeing a man on the 
opposite side, we hailed him, and he answered to us to come on, as the 
water was not deep. We went on, but the water was at least 3 feet, and 
1 was not easy in crossing. After travelling the beach a mile farther, 
and through the road another mile, we arrived at Sackets Harbor, which 
has a very pretty appearance, and promises from its situation to become 
of importance. A coNector's office is established by the United States, 
and Mr. Sacket, the collector, has a salary of $700. He called upon us, 
and we went to his house, which is quite a building, and the premises 
are very neat The drouth has been very severe. He informed us that 
the proprietors of this town had lately declined selling, but that the whole 
would sell readily at $5, Mr. Low had determined not to sell at any price, 
but in this we were afterwards told he was incorrect He talks of the 
collector's office not being worth his attention although 1000 tons of asbetf 
have been sent from the Harbor, and he is quite dsirous of selling his 

* Bedford Creek. 

EUishurgh. 155 

whole property. • • * Proceeded to Brownville, 9 miles where we diqed; 
fouod the water very low, and Brown's mills not at work. The place is 
Dot materially altered from last year, except some new buildings, and the 
road through the village turnpike by private subscription. Called on 
Jacob Brown, who was not at home, but he soon after called upon us, 
when we were about to set off, • ♦ *. Rutland was formerly sold to 
faaac Bronson, by Mr. Henderson, at a great sacrifice, and the former will 
dear a large sum of money by it, unless as we are told he has given it up 
to his brother, binding him only to his principal and interest, in which 
ease bis brother who lives here will get the benefit of it and it will be 
large, if as they say every acre will sell for $5, or $6. The settlers are 
numerous, on the road at least, and the buildings generally good. 

Aug. 1^ Left Heth's early, and went towards the Long Falls, expect- 
ing to be obstructed by many windfalls, in consequence otthe boisterous 
night, but we got on very well, and found the country thickly settled in 
Champion, where they told us the price of land was from $6 to $10, and 
not much for sale, when we arrived at the falls, the house on(this side not 
being a tavern, we were obliged to cross the river for breakfast, and were 
detained nearly an hour at the ferry. Proceeded through great tract No. 
IV and stopped at Steam's 10 mile:?, where we dined and arrived at Lee's, 
22 miles from the falls, where we passed the night, and as the house was 
completely full an uncomfortable one it was. I see no alteration in this 
part of the country since last year, the road at least as bad, and no more 
settlers. We were told Gen. Lewis, R. Morris, has been through it, and 
lias now gone to Vermont, intending shortly to return and perhaps with 
his family. He has quited Lee, and other squatters, who seemed well 
atisfied. He is expected to build at the Ox Bow. 

Jhig. 17. LeA Tree's very early, and came through to the Ox Bow 5 
miles of as bad road as we had yet travelled," ♦ ♦ *, 

One year afterwards (August 8, 1806), Mr. Constable in going 

over this route remarked. 

** Passed from the Long Palls to tfie bridge at Indian River (Antwerp 
Village), where we spent the night The ^country generally remains as 
last year, except at this place where they are building a saw mill for 
Gen. Lewis, R. Morris, who lias gone to Vermont, his family not having 
yet moved to this town." fhe same journal (August 1806) speaking of 
the settlements in Ellisburgh says: ^ From Asa Brown's passed on to 
Andrews' settlement, on Ellisburgh, through a very good road, 4 miles. 
He has made considerable improvement here. The saw mill has been 
bng in use, and has enabled them to erect frame houses, some good 
barns, and a large grist mill, which is however not yet finished and after 
dinner walked to see the lake, which as the wind blew fresh from the 
west, had a very pleasing appearance, * * *. Ellis rents the mills for 
9400 per annum, and his affairs will soon be in good order. * * * We 
heard with great concern the death of Elder Littlefield, which happened 
a few days ^fore our arrival. He was a man of some consequence and 
much respected, and has left a widow and nine children. It is supposed 
he died intestate. * * * There have been some casesof sickness du- 
ring the season, but none fatal. Dr. Draper is still on the town, and has 
considerable practice. He will continue here and ho|)es to build a house 
next year when he will reciuire a deed for the 50 acres of land to which 
he is entided. I should have remarked that 180 militia men trained here 
yesterday (September 2) and it is said by some, that one third were ah* 
ient If so the population has gready increased." 

166 . Ettisburgh. 

On the 22(1 of January, 1803, George Tibbets and James Dole, 
of Troy, were appointed agents for Ellisburgh, and in ISOy were 
paid for their services in land, In the same year, Benjamin 
Wright, of Rome, succeeded as general agent for the estate, and 
fixed his residence at Pulaski, where he continued in the capaci- 
ty of surveyor and agent imtil employed on the canal surveys. 

No incident worthy of remark occurred until 1808, when the 
embargo act was passed; that led to much opposition from the 
Federal party in this county, and was in some places on this 
frontier systematically violated. 

In September, 1808, an event occurred in this town that cre- 
ated great excitement at the time. We take it from accounts 
published in the Albany Gazette, Oct. 10, 1808. A party from 
Oswego, under Lieut Asa Wells, entered Sandy Creek, and after ^ 
seizing a quantity of potash, under the embargo laws, proceeded ' 
to the house of Capt. Fairfield, surrounded it, and seized and 
carried away a swivel. Mr. F. being absent, his lady made 
complaint to a justice, who issued a warrant. The constable 
was intimidated, and called upon his fellow citizerk$ to aid him, 
when about thirty men took arms, and went with him, but 
Wells' men presented bayonets, when they desisted, and twenty 
of the men went off, Lieut. Wells ordered the remainder to be 
disarmed, and bound, when they were taken, with the swivel, to 
Oswego. On the evening of the 25th September the same party 
returned, as reported, for the purpose of taking the magistrate 
and constable, who had issued the papers. A warrant against 
Wells, and two others, for felony, in breaking open a house, 
was issued at Sackets Harbor, and given to Ambrose Pease, a 
constable, to execute, who, after examining the law, raised the 
hue and cry, and assembled about 200 persons in Ellisburgh, 
where a consultation of several magistrates was held, and the 
next day at sunrise about seventy or eighty men, armed and 
equipped, volunteered to aid in the arrest, but the magistrates 
durst not issue the order for their march, being apprehensive 
that some excess or injury might be done, and the question hav- 
ing been raised whether a constable had a right to demand aid, 
before he had been resisted, the armed men were advised to dis- 
perse, and the civil officer requested to proceed to apprehend 
Wells and the others, without the force of the county. This 
proceeding was charged, by one of the political parties, as an 
attempt of the other to resist, by force of arms, the execution of 
the laws, and mutual criminations were exchanged with much 
bitterness. To justify themselves, and secure public opinion in 
their favor, the civil officers who had taken an interest in the 
matter, prepared the following statement, which was published 
in the papers of the day, at Utica, Albany and elsewhere : 

EUUburgh. 157 

** At a meeting of the inhabitants of the county of JefTerson, in the 
state of New VofIe, suddenly convened (by command of the civil author- 
ity), in the town of Ellisburgh, to take into consideration the proper and 
legal mode to apprehend certain felons and robbers, who, in the town of 
Ellisburgh in said county, being armed, and under the pretense of being 
in the service of the United States, to enforce the embargo laws, did 
there violently, and forcibly, enter into the dwelling house of Captain 
Fairfield, broke open locks, forced open doors, and robbed the said Capt 
Fairfield of his property, contrary to the laws ; that they refused to sub- 
mit to the civil authority of the country, and did then and tliere, by foroe 
and arms, seize, bind and carry away to Oswego, ten of our fellow citi- 
lens, who were commanded to attend a civil officer in the execution of 
process on the said offenders; which citizens have been kept since, in 
dose confinement, in want of every comfort and convenience of life, 
without lawful authority, and constantly subject to insult of soldiery, 
who seem insensible of the rights, privileges and liberties of Americans, 
Feeling the spirit of freemen, and viewing this and many other late acts 
of violence as rapid strides towards despotism and martial law among us, 
the establbhment of which must occasion a total deprivation of the rights 
ibr which our fathers and many of us have fought and bled ; therefore, 

JRemUvedf That we consider it a duty incumbent on us, for our personal 
isfety, for the security of our lives and property, and for the support of 
our civil law and authority, to unite in all lawful measures to apprehend 
the said felons. 

Ruohtd, That such of our fellow citizens who have assembled in arms 
to aid our magistrates and civil officers in the execution of lawful pro- 
cess against Lieut Asa Wells, and others, who stand charged under oath 
of felony, l>e requested to disperse, until another trial be made by them 
to apprehend the said Asa Wells. 

Ruolvedj That the magistrates and civil authorities of the neighboring 
counties be requested to aid us in apprehending and bringing to justice 
the said Lieut. Wells, and divers other persons concerned in the said 

Buolced, That we will support the laws and magistrates of the coun- 
try, and our civil officers in the execution of lawful process. 

Ruoivedj That AuguHm Socket, Jesse Hopkins, and John CowUs, Esqs., 
magistrates of the county, be appointed a committee to cause these reso- 
Incions to be published, for the information of our fellow citizens. 

AueusTus Sacket,^ 
Jesse Hopkins, > CommUUe. 
John Cowles, ) 

EOMurgh, Sept. 27, 1808. 

During the war a company of Silver GreySy composed of old 
men and boys, not liable to military duty, was formed in Wood's 
Settlement, but was not called to serve, except to guard the beach 
and mouth of Sandy Creek. 

In the spring of 1814, a complete victory was gained with 
dieht loss, by a detachment of troops guarding a quantity of 
military stores from Oswego under Lieut. Wooisey, which had 
entered Sandy Creek, and were attacked by a detachment from 
the British fleet. The details of this transaction will be given in 
our chapter on the war. 

The aboriginal remains of Ellisburgh^ have given occasion for 

158 EOuburgh. 

the weak minded to believe, thai they were in some way con- 
cerned with buried treasures, and this being confirmed by the 
supposed indications of the divining rod, leu in early times to 
explorations for them, despite of the guardianship of the spirits 
of the murdered, who according to the most approved demon- 
ologists, are ever placed sentries over concealed coffers. The 
projectors of these speculations were in some instances charged 
with making money out of the credulous victims of superstition, 
by selling provisions, and in several instances, the diggers were 
almost frightened out of their senses by ghosts and demons; some 
got fleeced of substantial property in pursuit of imaginary wealth, 
and others lost the respect of sensible men, by the favor with 
which they regarded these follies. On a certain occasion in pre- 
paring the enchanted circle for digging, a lamb was sacrificed^ 
to appease the guardian demons of the supposed treasure; but 
this act was generally regarded as a sacrilege, and did much 
towards bringing discredit upon these heathenish orgies. 

It is humiliating to know, that at a period so recent, and in a 
locality that enjoyed the means of education as early as any in 
the county, such absurdities of belief in witchcraft should have 
prevailed, nor is consolation afforded in the fact, that in other 
sections^ and at the present day^ we daily witness the evidences 
of a belief in superstitions quite as absurd. Incidents might be 
given, and details related, of the ritual observed by these mid- 
night seekers for subterranean gold, but the narratives would be 
unprofitable, and can not be too soon forgotten. 

In 1828, there again occurred a sickness that was remarkable^ 
for its fatality, more especially in the vicinity of the lake, where 
scarcely a single person escaped an attack. It continued through 
the summer months, which were remarkable for their intense 
heat, with copious showers, alternating with clear sky and hot- 
sun. The lake was very high, and the marshes were flowed. 
The disease assumed the type of a malignant typhoid fever, and 
was very general, extending along the entire frontier, being 
especially severe in the vicinity of marshes and standing water. 
In the western part of the state, this year was distinguished by 
the prevalence of intermittent and other fevers. 

Ellis Village (Ellisburg P. O.), is situated mostly on the 
north bank of the south branch of Big Sandy Creek, about four 
miles from its mouth. It is the oldest village in the town, and 
contained, in Atigust 1853, four stores, two inns, two flouring 
mills, one plaster mill, one chair shop, one tannery, one saw 
mill, one shingle factory, two carriage shops, four blacksmith 
shops, and about sixty families. Four physicians resided in 
the place, and the village contained churches of the Methodist 
and Universalist orders. It is distant from Belleville three miles; 

EUisburgh. 159 

Mannsville four miles; Pierrepont Manor three miles; and Wood- 
Tille two and a half miles. 

BdlemlUy on the north bank of North Sandy Creek, three 
miles above Woodville, and by rail road, five from Pierrepont 
Manor, began as a farming settlement, by Metcalf Lee, Bradley 
Freeman, Joshua Freeman, Martin Barney, James, Benjamin, 
and Jedediah McCumber, and a few others about 1802-3. Elder 
Littlefield soon after purchased, and the place being favor- 
ably situated for mills, gradually grew to a village. Soon 
after the war, at the suggestion of Calvin Clark, a merchant, a 
meeting was called to select a name for the place, and a com- 
mittee was chosen, who selected the present, which is said to 
have been taken from Belleville in Canada. Before this it had 
been known as Hall's Mills, from Giles Hall, who in 1806, pur- 
chased of J. McCumber a hydraulic privilege here, and who has 
ever since resided in this place. The first merchant was^ Laban 
Brown; John Hawn was the first innkeeper. 

This place has, wiihin the last year, been brought in commu- 
nication with markets, by completion of the Sackets Harbor and 
Ellisburgh Rail Road, which has given a new impulse to its 
growth. It is the centre of a highly cultivated district, and one 
that has taken great interest in agriculture as a practical science. 
The fUlisburgh Agricultural Society, of which an account will be 
giYeOy has recently fitted up a fair ground adjacent to the village; 
and in no town in the county has so much emulation been 
evinced in agricultural pursuits as in this. The village of Belle? 
ville contains a Presbyterian, a Baptist, and a Methodist church, 
and is the seat of the Union Literary Society, an academic insti- 
tution, whose history and condition will be given in a future 
chapter. It is three miles from Ellis Village, two and a half 
from Woodville, six from Smithville, six from Henderson, five 
from Adams, and five from Pierrepont Manor. 

Rural Hill Post Office^ a small settlement two miles west 
from Belleville, was formerly called Buck Hill, has two stores, 
one tavern, and a few dwellings. 

Woodville^ a small village on North Sandy Creek about three 
miles from its mouth, formerly Wood's Settlement, was settled by 
Ebeoezer, Ephraim, and Jacob Wood, sons of Nathaniel Wood, 
of Middletown, Vt, who came in to look for lands with Orimal 
Brewster, Simeon Titus, Ephraim Wood, Jr., and Hezekiah 
L^ngwell, in the fall of 1803. Messrs. £. &' E. Wood pur- 
chased May 26, 1804, for $2,294*80, a tract of 754 acres, and 
in March, Ephraim Wood, with a daughter and three sons, came 
in to reside, his brother Ebenezer remaining to settle the estate. 
Rev. Nathaniel Wood, their father, an old man, came on in June, 
1804. Obadiah Kingsbury, Oliver Scott, and others, came the 

160 EUisburgh. 

BSLtae year. A small mill was built, and in 1805, got in opera- 
tion. In 1805 Ebenezer Wooil, Nathaniel Wood, Jr.,* Moseljr 
Wood, Samuel Truesdale, and families, came in, and several 
young men. A field of corn planted by the Woods, on the 
marsh, as late as June 7, produced an immense yield, which 
greatly raised the reputation of the settlement, and the hopes of 
the settlers. 

Woodville, in August, 1853, contained a' store, two saw mills, 
grist mill, two churches (Baptist and Congregational), a paper 
mill (built by Messrs. Clark, about seven years since), the usual 
yariety of mechanics, and about thirty families. 

In 1802, Joseph Allen, with Pardon Earlf and Arnold Earl, 
from Galway, N. Y., came in by way of Redfield, to Adams, and 
thence worked their way through the forest to Bear Creek, and 
settled on the site of the present village of Pierrepont Manor. 
William Tabor, William Case, two or three families by the name 
of Simmons, and a few others settled for farming purposes soon 
after. Allen opened the first inn, and Oliver Snow the first 
store. Mr. P. Earl, after 1807, became a local land agent, and 
a man of extensive business, and in 1822 the agency of the es- 
tates derived by H. B. Pierrepont from William Constable, lyinj 
in Jefierson and Oswego counties, was assumed by William 
Pierrepont, his elder son, who has since resided here, and ac- 
quired the title of these lands. The village has at present an 
inn, two stores, a number of mechanics, and between thirty and 
forty dwellings. It is by plank road five miles from Adams vil- 
lage, two from Mannsville, and thirteen from Pulaski. The W. 
and R. Rail Road has a station and eating house at this place, 
and it here joins the Sackets Harbor and EUisburgh Rail Road. 
Few villages will compare with this, for the neat and quiet aspect 
which it presents. It is situated on the level of the lake ridge, 
and commands a distant prospect of the lake. 

A melancholy accident occcurred near this place, on the even- 
ing of May 6, 1852, by an engine, while running backwards, 
coming in contact with a hand car containing a party of young 
ladies and gentlemen, by which three of the former were killed, 
and one severely injured. The hand car was taken contrary to 
explicit orders of the company by employees, who were at once 
discharged. No blame was attached to any one, except those 
who had allowed the hand car to be placed upon the track. 

MannsvilUy on Mannsville, or Skinner Creek, two miles south 
of Pierrepont Manor, and on the line of the W. & R. R. R., 
began to be settled by David I. Andrus, as agent for Samuel 

* Reuben Wood, late governor oi Ohio, and now in Valparaizo, is a aon oi 
Nathaniel Wood. 

t Mr. Earl died here January 9, 1844, aged 69. 

EUUburgh. 161 

Wardwell of Rhode Island, who had made extensive purchase 
here and elsewhere in town. The improvement by Andriis was 
slight, and the place only began to increase in 1822, when Dan- 
iel Wardwell came on and took charge of the purchase made 
several years previous by his father, and in 1823 he began the 
erection of a cotton factory, having for its dimensions forty by 
fifty feet, and three stories high, which stood a short distance 
below the present village, and was fitted for 600 spindles. Soon 
after. Major H. B. Mann purchased half of the factory, which 
had been two or three years in operation, when it was burned 
February 16, 1827. The loss was estimated at $10,000. 

The present name was adopted on the formation of a post of- 
fice. In August, 1853, it contained five stores, one hotel, two 
harness shops, four black smith shops, two carriage shops, one 
tin shop, two tanneries, one grist mill, one saw mill, three shoe 
shops, a church and about fifty dwellings. It is on the Adams 
and EUisburgh Plank Road, formerly a stage road. 

The lake shore in this town is nearly a straight line, and is 
bordered by a low ridge of sand hills, scantily covered with trees 
at a few points, but mostly composed of drilting sands. Behind 
this is a large marsh that extends several miles each way from 
Sandy Creek, in which are oi)en ponds. These marshes are 
without timber, are covered with sedges, aquatic plants, and 
wild rice, and when the lake is low, a considerable portion of 
them may be mowed, but in high water they are mostly flowed. 
A large part of the marsh remains unsold, and is used as a kind 
of common. Where capable of tillage it is found very productive. 

The lake shore has been the scene of many wrecks, since the 
country was settled, %e first within the memory of those living 
having occurred in the fall of 1800, when a small schooner 
from Mexico, to Gananoqui, Capt. Gammon, master, was lost 
off Little Stony Creek, and all on board perished. A boat of 
eight men, that was sent in search of the vessel, was also 
swamped, and all hands were drowned. 

About 1807, a family was located by Mr. Benjamin Wright, 
at the mouth of Sandy Creek, to aflbrd aid to shipwrecked per- 
sons, and since that period this lonely dwelling has sheltered 
many a suffering sailor, who might otherwise have perished. 
Within the memory of the present tenant, who has occupied the 
premises thirty years, the following vessels have been wrecked 
€b this coast, and several near the house : Atlas, Asp, Huron, 
Ann, Fame of Genessee, Two Sisters, Victory, Hornet, Three 
Brothers, Medora, Burlington, Caroline, Henry Clay, Neptune, 
Napoleon, White Cloud, and several others, names not known, 
of many of which the entire crews were lost, and of others a 
part were saved. These are but a part of the whole number 

162 Ettislmrgh. ^ 

that have been lost here, and the subject of establishing a light, 
or at least one or more life boats, with the necessary apparatus, 
on the beach, for use in case of shipwrecks, commends itself 
strongly to the charities of the humane, and the attention of 

In 1829 a survey of the mouth of Sandy Creek was made, by 
order of the general government, with the view of improving it 
for a harbor. The estimated cost of the work was $36,000, but 
nothing was ever done towards effecting this. The completion 
of the railroad has diminished the amount of commerce at this 
place, which was always small. A warehouse had been erected 
at the head of navigation, on each branch of the creek, but these 
are little used at present. Sandy Creek is a lawful port. 

The fisheries in Mexico bay, and in front of this town, have 
within a few years assumed much importance, and recently gill 
nets have been introduced and used, at great distances from the 
shore in deep water. It was found that the placing of these before 
the mouth of streams injured the fisheries, and the subject was 
made a matter of complaint to the board of supervisors at their 
session in 1852, who passed an act by which it was forbidden to 
place seines or nets across, or in the waters of Skinner Creek, 
and the north and south branches of Big Sandy in Ellisburgh, or 
within 80 rods of the mouth of either, under a penalty of $50. 

The Ellisburgh Union Library vf^s formed^February 16, 1813, 
Caleb Ellis, Brooks Harrington, Oliver Scott, Shubeal Lyman 
and Isaac Burr, were elected the first trustees. Like most others 
of the class, this has been abandoned. 

Religious Societies. — The Baptists were the first to effect an 
organization in town. Before the formatidn of the present church 
of this order at Belleville, a few persons had been gathered by 
Elders Colwell and Littlefield, and adopted a covenant and art- 
icles of faith, with which Elder L. and some others were dis* 
satisfied, and which a council of brethren from neighboring 
churches decided to be contrary to the faith of the Baptists church! 
They were accordingly disbanded, and Elder L. having died, 
there was for some time no ministry of this order. About 1807, 
Joshua Freeman, then a young man, and one who has since been 
prominently connected with churches of this order in the county, 
feeling that something should be done towards reviving a church, 
with another young man, named Amos Noyes, commenced hold- 
ing meetings at Belleville. In this they had the cordial sympathies 
and aid of many, among others of Deacon Edward Barney. The 
previous covenant was modified to suit their views of gospel 
truth, and signed by eleven persons, who were soon joined by 
others, and August 22, 1807, a council called for the purpose, 
gave them the right hand of frilowship as a regular Baptist 

EUUhurgh. 163 

church. They enjoyed only occasional preaching till 1810, when 
Martin E. Cook, a licentiate, was called to the care of the- church. 
He was afterwards ordained, and (with an inter^^al of two years, 
in which Elder Bradley was employed) continued to labor in the 
ministry, with great acceptance, during twenty-four years. Since 
then the following ministers have served as pastors at different 
periods: Daniel D. Reed, Abner Webb, Joel H. Green, A Webb 
(2d time), John F. Bishop, and the present pastor, David Mc- 
Farland. The present number of the church is 260. Several 
seasons of religious awakening have occurred in this church, 
and many have gone out from them to the labor of the ministry. 
No serious divisions have occurred, and its history presents a 
scene of almost continual prosperity.* 

In 1819, a union meeting house was erected at Belleville, cost- 
ing about $3,300, but the society never perfected its organiza- 
tion, which led to litigation. In March, 1829, the building was 
burned. A Baptist society had been foimed December 4, 1821, 
with Matthew Green, Renjamin Barney and John Barney, 2d, 
trustees. In 1831 the present Baptist Church at this place was 
built, at a cost of about $2,400. 

The Baptist society of Woodville, was formed Jan. 27, 1825, 
with Ebenezer Wood, Oliver Scott, Amaziah Fillmore, Pedro 
Scott, Wm. Ellsworth and Abijah Jenkins, trustees. The church 
was formed by the Rev. Asa Averill, since whom Peleg Card, 

. Buckley, W. B. Downer, L. Rice and others have been 

employed. The society has a house of worship. The Baptist 
church of Mannsville was formed about 1831, by the union of 
one in Lorraine, and one in the west part of the tdwn. The lat- 
ter, styled the 2d Baptized Church of Ellisburgh, was formed 
Oct. 8-13, 1817, under Elder Timothy Brewster, assisted by 
Elders Emery Osgood, of Henderson, Matthew Wilkie, of Wilna, 
Martin E. Cook, of Ellisburgh, and Elisha Morgan of Rutland. 
In 1833, this sect with the Congregationalists, erected their pre- 
sent place of worship at a cost of $1600. 

The First CongregationalChurchof Ellisburgh, was formed by 
David M. Dixon, and Oliver Leavitt, Jan. 1, 1817, of six members. 
The Rev. J. A. Clayton was employed soon after, and was the 
only settled pastor. He was installed Nov. 9, 1826. He had 
several successors. On the 11th of Nov. 1823, a society was 
formed, of which the trustees were Amos Hudson, Hiram Taylor, 
Daniel Wardwell, John Otis, Wm. T. Fisk, and Wm. Cole. A 
church edifice was erected, but the organization became reduced, 
and was finally given up in the summer of 1844, having numbered 
143 members. The church has been for some time private prop- 
erty, and in 1843 was taken down. 

^From materials kindly furniihed by W. L. Cook, the pretent clerk. 

164 EUisburgh. 

The Congregational Church of WoodvilJe was formed Nov. 52, 
and a society Dec. 14, 1836, of which Ebenezer Wood, Oliver 
Batchelor, and Wm. Gray were trustees. A union house had been 
erected and partly finished previously; in 1837 it was taken down 
and a brick church erected, at a cost of about $1,100. Rev. Chas. 
B. Pond became the first pastor, and was installed Jan. 23. 1840. 
In 4 years Elisha P. Cook succeeded, since whom David Powell, 
J. Burohard, Frederick Hebard, and — Smith have been em- 
ployed, of whom Mt, Hebard was installed pastor. 

The Second Congregational Church and society of Ellisburgh 
was reorganized at Alannsville, Aug. 18, 1834, with Roswell 
Keeney, Benjamin P. Grenell, and Daniel Wardwell, trustees. 
The early records of this church have been burnt; they own an 
interest in the meeting house at Mannsville. 

The First Presbyterian Society in the town of Ellisburgh was 
formed Aug. 28, 1820, and elected Nathan Barden, Isaac Burr, 
Wm. T. Fisk, Amos Hudson, Liberty Bates, and Royce March, 
trustees. In 1830 it was reorganized and the same year erected 
in Belleville, a meeting house, at a cost of about $500. A church 
organization was formed at the house of Nathan Barden, Dec. 
18, 1829, by the Rev. Jedediah Burchard, of five males and six 
females, and on the Uthof Feb. 1830, it united with the Water- 
town Presbytery. The successors of Mr. Burchard have been 
— Spencer, J. Burchard, (2nd time), 0. Parker, C. B. Pond, C. W. 
Baker, S. Cole, J. A. Canfield, Ingersoll, J. Carlisle, and at 
present J. Burchard. The society is now erecting a new church 
edifice at a cost, besides the lot, of about $2,800. 

The Universalist Church of Ellisburgh was formed Aug. 26, 
1821, with 19 members; the present number is 50. The persons 
chiefly instrumental in forming it, were Isaac Mendall, Silas 
Emerson, John Clark, and Rev. Cornelius G. Persons. The clergy 
have been C. G. Persons, Chas. B.Brown, Oliver Wilcox, Luther 
Rice, Pitt Morse, and Alfred Peck. The society was formed Sept. 
2, 1833, with J. Mendall, Edmund M. Eldridge, Daniel Stearns, 
Edmund Palmer, and Richard Cheever, trustees. A Church was 
erected at Ellis Village in 1843, at a cost of $1,500. 

Zion Church (Episcopal), at Pierrepont Manor, was legally 
organized Jan. 4, 1836; Amos C. Tread way being at the time 
rector, William C. Pierrepont, and Thomas Warren were chosen 
church wardens, and Thomas Blenking, Jr., Cornelius M. Tabor, 
Jason Marsh, Harvey Allen, Pardon Earl, Thomas E. Williamson, 
Robert Myrick, and John Allen were elected vestrymen. A church 
had been erected the summer previous by Mr. Pierrepont, at a 
cost of $3,000, which was consecrated Aug. 16, 1836. The 
rectors have been the Rev. Messrs. A. C. Treadway, Nathaniel 
Watkins, Josiah E. Bartlet, and E. C. Ellsworth. 

Henderwtu 166 

Tbe Methodist Episcopal Society in Ellisburgh Village was 
formed March 5, 1832, with Oliver N. Snow, Benj. Chamberlin, 
Lyman Ellis, Jeremiah Lewis, and Hiram Mosley, trustees. In 
1833 they built a church, which in 1850 was removed, repaired, 
and a steeple added. In 1836 a parsonage was built. 

The First Episcopal Methodist uhurch and Society in Belleville 
was formed May 5, 1841, having Edward Boomer, Elias Dickin- 
son, Thomas Ellis, Edward B. Hawes, Jesse Hubbard, Riley 
Chamberlain, Hail W. Baxter, Nelson Boomer, and John R. 
Hawes, trustees. They have a house of worship, and have been 
twice reorganized. 


This town comprises number six of the eleven towns, and is 
the most westerly in the county, if we except the Galloo and 
Stony islands, which belong to Houndsfield. It was formed 
with its present limits, February 17th, 1806, from Ellisburgh. 

The first town meeting was held at the house of Reuben 
Putnam, March 11th, 1806, at which Jesse Hopkins was chosen 
supervisor^ Mark Hopkins clerky Lodowick Salisbury, Daniel 
Spencer, and Emory Osgood, assessors^ Elijah Williams, consta' 
Ue and collector^ John B. Carpenter, Samuel Hubbard, poor 
masters^ Marval Danly, Asa Smith and Anthony Sprague, 
commissioners highways^ George W. Clark, Willes Fellows, 
and Jedediah McCumber, Jence viewers ^ Reuben Putnam, 
pound mastery Israel Thomas, James Barney, Levi Scofield, 
Thomas Drury, Calvin Bishop, Robert Farrel, Benjamin Barney, 
John B. Carpenter, William White, Simeon Porter, po/A masters. 

Supervisors^ 1806-10, Jesse Hopkins; 1811, James Hender- 
son, Jr.; 1812, Asa Smith; 1813, Mark Hopkins; 1814-5, Asa 
Smith; 1816, Maik Hopkins; 1817, John S. Porter; 1818, 
Noah Tubbs; 1819, Asa Smith; 1820-4, Noah Tubbs; 1825-6, 
Caleb Harris; 1827, Jonathan Bullard; 1828-31, Caleb Harris; 
1832, Peter N. Cushraan; 1833-4, Caleb Harris; 1835-7, Peter 
N. Cushman; 1838-40, David Montague; 1841, George Jeffers; 
1842-3, John Carpenter, 1844, Joseph A. Montague; 1845, 
William McNeil; 1846-51, Henry Green, Jr.; 1852 Washing- 
ton Bullard; 1853, H. Green, Jr. 

1811-12. Voted that Canada thistles shall be moiwed in the 
old of the moon, in June, July, and August. Penalty $5, one 
half to the complainant, one half to the overseers of poor. Wolf 
bounties of $10 in 1807, to 1815 except in 1809, when $5 were 
offered for wolves, wild cats and panthers. 

This town fell to the share of William Henderson of New 
York, one of the four who bought the eleven towns of Constable, 
and from him it derived its name. He was accustomed to spend 

166 Henderson. 

a part of each summer here for several years, and remained in- 
terested in ths title of the town till his death. 

There was an ancient portage from the head of Henderson 
Bay to Stony Creek across this town, by which the exposure of 
passing Stony Point, which forms a cape difficult to navigate 
with small boats, was avoided. At the head of the bay, there is 
said to be a trace, thought to be the remains of a kind of wharf 
or landing. The evidences of aboriginal occupation were no- 
ticed at one or two places in this town, and near an ancient 
trench enclosure there is said to have been found a golden cross, 
about two inches long, and furnished with a ring to be worn on 
the nifck. In our first chapter we have noticed the trace of a 
stockade, supposed to have been built by the 
French. The figure in the margin represents a 
plan and section of this fort. This trace oc- 
curs on Six Town Point, so named from its 
being a part of township No. 6, which extends 
in a narrow peninsula, that in high water be- 
comes an island, more than two miles into the 
bay, and forms in the rear a harbor, which for extent, safety, 
and facility of access, has not its superior on the lake. This 
circumstance gave value to the township, in the opinion of the 
early proprietors, and had a beginning been properly made and 
directed with suitable energy, the place might at this time have 
been an important commercial point. 

The town was surveyed into lots, in 1801, by Benjamin 
Wright of Rome, the plan of subdivision being similar to that 
of Adams, into lots and quarters. In 1805, lot No. 20, near the 
present village of Henderson Harbor, was surveyed into twenty 
lots, or four ranges, of ten lots each, for the purpose of a village. 

The town of Henderson began to settle under the agency of 
Asher Miller, of Rutland, about 1802, the land books showing 
that Thomas Clark, Samuel Stewart, Philip Crumett, John 
StaflTord, and Peter Cramer, had taken up lands in this town, to 
the extent of 1,195 acres, on the 26th of October previous. 
Moses Barret, William Petty, Daniel Spencer, Capt. John Bishop 
and sons, Calvin,* Luther, Asa and Sylvester, Jedediah and 
James McCumber, Samuel Hubbard,! Elijah Williams, Levi 
Scofield, William Johnson, David Bronson, John and Marvel 
Danley, Andrew Darymple, Luman Peck, Jonathan Crapo, 
George W. Clark, Thomas Drury, Anthony Sprague, Daniel 
Forbes, Emory Osgood and many others, whose names were not 
procured, settled within two or three years from the openings of 
settlement, being mostly emigrants from New England. 

* Died January 24th, 1850. a^ed 68. 
t Died July lith, 1843, ngtd 82. 

Henderson. 167 

On Henderson Bay, three miles east of the little village of 
Henderson Harbor, a Scotch settlement was formed in 1803-7, 
by John and Duncan Drummond, Charles and Peter Barrie, 
Duncan Campbell, Thomas Bell, James Crawe, Daniel Scott, 
and John McCraulI, from Perthshire in Scotland. A store was 
opened by C. Barrie in 1823, in this settlement, and kept several 
years. Abel Shepard located in the same settlement in 1806. 

The first physician who settled in town was Elias Skinner, and 
the second Daniel Barney,* the latter having settled in 1807. 
Alfred Forbes is said to have taught the first school in the winter 
of 1808-9. 

A paper before us, showing the balance due from settlers in 
this town, Jan. 1, 1809, contains the following names of those 
who were living in town, at that time: A. Jones, R. Favel, 
Jeremiah Harris, Horace Heath, Samuel McNitt, Amos Hart, 
Daniel Hardy, Benj. Hammond, Samuel Jones, Daniel McNei), 
Martin T. Morseman, Appleton Skinner, Asa and Ira Smith, 
Samuel Foster, Wm. Waring, Wm. White, Daniel Pierce, John 
B. Carpenter, Luther S. Kullinger, Lodowick Salisbury, T. 
Hunsden, W. White and Thomas Bull, who owed an aggre- 
gate of $17,734*87, for lands. Dr. Isaac Bronson became an 
owner of a large tract in 1807, which was sold and settled by a 
separate agency, Abel French succeeded Miller, a few months, 
in the agency, and April 8, 1805, an agreement was made 
between Wm. Henderson and Jesse Hopkins, by which the latter 
became the agent of this town and Pinckney, and continued in 
the employment of Mr. Henderson many years. Some difficulty 
growing out of the agency, led to the publication of a pamphlet 
by Mr. Hopkins in 1823, which, affords some interesting data 
relative to the early history of the town. 

In 1803-4, but ten families wintered in town. In May, 1806, 
there were seventy families, generally middle aged and young 
people, with small property, but industrious and contented, 
although many were quite poor, who had exhausted their means 
in getting into the town, and were destitute of provisions. A 
contract was made soon after for clearing twenty-five acres of 
lands at the harbor, which the proprietor had hoped to establish 
as a commercial port, and caused to be surveyed into a village 
plot to which he gave the name of J^aples, 

The bay, which is unsurpassed for beauty, as it is unrivaled 
for safety and convenience of access, was named the Bay of 
Naples, and high expectations were founded upon the future 
greatness of this port. On the declaration of war, Sackets Har- 
bor was selected as the great naval station of the lake, and both 

♦Dr. B.died May 19, 1828. 

168 Render ion. 

Mr. Henderson and his agent, were, it is said, being opposed 
to that measure, averse to having any military or naval operations 
undertaken at this place. It in consequence lost the opportunity 
which 'u'ith judicious management and decided natural advan- 
tages, it might have been secured of being a place of importance. 

Mr. Hopkins built a house and opened a land office near the 
town of Naples, which he had laid out, the provisions used for 
his laborers being brought from Kingston, and the lumber from 
Ellisburgh and Sackets Harbor. In 1807, a small store was 
opened, and several unsuccessful attempts were made to bring 
business to the place. Among other measures, Mr. Henderson 
procured the passage of a law for the opening of a State Road 
from Lowville to Henderson Harbor, which was laid out from 
Lowville into Pinckney, but never completed. He also in 1809, 
caused a dam and saw mill to be built on Stony Creek, near the 
head of navigation, but the former gave way and the enterprise 
resulted in a total loss. In the next season the dam was rebuilt, 
and a mill erected at great expense. In 1811, a negotiation 
was held with General Matoon, of Massachusetts, for the sale of 
the township, but failed on account of the prospects of war. In 
1812, Mr. Hopkins erected a large sized school house at the 
harbor, which was to serve also as a place for religious meetings. 
He also commenced the building of vessels at this place, the first 
of which was a schooner of twenty tons. Several large clear- 
ings were made on account of Henderson, the year previous. In 
the year 1814, a second vessel, of ibrty tons, and soon after two 
others were built, and the place began to present the appearance 
of considerable business. Mr. Hopkins continued in the agency 
until 1822, engaged with varied success in a series of specula- 
tions, some of which were successful and some very unfortunate, 
when, having fallen considerably in arrears, he was superseded in 
the ag'ency, and his improvements taken to apply on his liabilities. 

On the 25th of May, 1814, an association styled the Henderson 
Woolen Manufacturing Company, was formed, having Allen 
Kilby, Hezekiah Doolittle, Joseph Dickey, Tilley F. Smead and 
Chester Norton, its first trustees. This company never went into 
operation, but organized and expended a considerable sum in 

Henderson Village^ sometimes called Salisbury's Mills, from 
Lodowick Salisbury, a prominent citizen at an early day, is situ- 
ated in the valley of Stony Creek, and mostly on the south 
bank, 3^ miles from its mouth. It has three stores, an inn, two 
tanneries, a saw mill, a grist mill, a small woolen factory, most 
kinds of mechanic shops, and about sixty families. It has 
churches of the Methodist, Baptist, and Universalist orders. 

Henderson Harbor is a place one and a half miles distant from 

• Henderson. 169 

Henderson Village, has less business than formerly, and consists of 
about a dozen houses. The shore here rises by a gentle slope to 
a spacious plain, and the prospect presented by the bay and 
islands, is one of romantic interest. 

Near the mouth of Stony Creek, at the head of navigation, 
are mills, and two or three vessels have been built here. On 
Stony Point, a light has been maintained since 1837, an appro- 
priation of $3000 having been made for its erection on the 3d of 
March in that year. 

The Henderson Social Library ^ was formed Feb. 9, 1819, of 
which, Percival Bullard, Peter N. Cushman, Chester Norton, 
Rufus Hatch, Thomas Fobes, Allen Kilbey, and Elijah Williams, 
were elected the first trustees. 

RfJigious Societies. — The first Baptist Church of Henderson, 
was formed June 26, 1806, at the house of Merril Danly by 
Emory Osgood, who officiated as pastor till Sept. 11, 1823. In 
October 1818, the members being scattered, a new church was 
formed from this, the parent body being the same that now wor- 
ships at Smithville, and the colony that of Henderson Village. 
The first Baptist society of Smithville was formed September 9, 

1823, with Henry Keith, Austin Bobbins, and Ebenezer Sumner, 
trustees. This society in concert with the Congregationlists in 
1832, erected a stone church at Smithville, forty four by sixty 
feet, at a cost of about $3000. It is still owned in equal shares 
by the two societies. The clergy employed since Mr. Osgood 
have been, Elders Elisha Morgan, Jesse Elliott, Norman Chase, 
J. N. Webb, Daniel D. Reed, Elisha Sawyer, Henry Ward, Joshua 
Freeman, and Amasa Heath. 

The First Baptist society, of Henderson, was formed June 5, 

1824, with Samuel Cole, Shuball Athiston, and Amasa Brown, 
trustees. In 1824, this society, assisted by the masonic fraternity, 
erected a church, the latter using the second story as a lodge 
room. They sold their interest about 1832. In 1853, this build- 
ing, which stood a little south of Henderson Village, was taken 
down, and a new one erected near the centre of the village. The 
same clergy have generally been employed here as at Smithville. 

The Smithville Congregational church was formed January 3, 
1824, by Rev. Abel L. Crandall, of ten males, twenty-two fe- 
males. March 13, 1824, the church resolved to unite with the St. 
Lawrence Presbytery, on the accommodation plan. Rev. Messrs. 
J. Ingersoll, D. Spear, L. A. Sawyer, J. Covert, A. Putnam, H. 
Doane, George J. King, Charles Halsey, L. M. Shepard, George 
Turner, and Henry Budge, have since been employed, mostly 
one-half of the time, the remainder being at North Adams. In 
1829 the church joined the Black P«,i ver Association, and has since 
80 remained Meetings were held in a school house, built with 


170 Henderson. 

the view of holdinp; meetings, until the present church was built. 
The Congregational Society of Smithville was formed Septem- 
ber 16, 1823, having William Gilbert, Joseph T. French, and 
Daniel McNeil, trustees, who united with the Baptists in erect- 
ing a church as above stated. 

The Presbyterians, about 1820, erected a small church in 
Henderson Village, that has been for many years taken down, 
and they have no place of worship at present, in town. A soci- 
ety was formed on the 28th of October, 1819, with Adonijah 
Wheaton, Ralph French, and .Jesse Hopkins, trustees. 

The Methodists tirst organized a society in this town July 29, 
1830, with Beebee Smith, Cyrus Hall, Amos White, Joseph J. 
Hatch and Calvin Bishop, trustees. The first society at the vil- 
lage of Henderson was formed April 9, 1844, with Harvey Crit- 
tenden, Amos W^hite and Sylvanus Ward, trustees. The Metho- 
dists have two churches in town, one on Bishop Street, and one 
in the village, erected by the above societies respectively. 

The First Universalist Society of Henderson was formed Janu- 
ary 13, 1823, with John S. Porter, Roswell Davis, and Amasa 
Hungerford, trustees. The Henderson Universalist Charitable 
Society had been formed February 5, 1819, of thirteen members, 
but not legally perfected till four years. In 1839 a church 40 
by 60 feet was erected in the village, at a cost of $3,000, and 
dedicated in December, 1839. On the 9th of March, 1822, a 
church orejanization was effected by Rev. Pitt Morse, of nine- 
teen members. The clergy since employed have been P. Morse, 
C. G. Person, Seth Jones, P. Morse, L. Rice, and Alfred Peck. 

On the 25th of December, 1825, a society of the JVew? JerU" 
salem (commonly called Swedenborgian), was formed in Ellis- 
burgh, at Brewster's school house, of thirteen members, in that 
town and Henderson, but mostly in the latter. Rev. Holland 
Weeks, formerly a Congregational minister, of Abington, Mass., 
who came into Henderson to reside in 1821, and who soon be- 
gan to hold meetings in school houses, was the promulgator of 
these doctrines in town, and preached gratuitously for many 
years. The meetings of the new church were kept up regularly 
by him, till near his death, at the school house in Henderson 
Village, and are still more or less regularly held, as reading 
meetings. The greatest number of members has been between 
thirty and forty; present number seventeen. The Rev. Mr. Weeks 
died in town July 24, 1843, aged 75 years. The first members 
of the New Jerusalem in this town were Holland Weeks, Joseph 
Dickey, Moses J. Morseman, Edward Leslie, Jeremiah Sias, 
Charles Stearns, Jr., John Burt Blanchard, Lucy Ann Blanchard, 
Alvin Wood, Lydia Wood, Ann H. Adams, Hannah M. Good- 
ale, and Harriet A. Weeks. 

Hmmdsfield. 171 


This township, or Na 1, of the Black River Tract, was formed 
from Watertown, February 17, 1806, the first town meeting 
being held at the house of Joseph Landon. 

A proposition for the formation of a new town from Water- 
town and Adams had been previously discussed, which was de- 
signed to take three ranges of lots from the north side of No. 
7, and annex to No. 1, the new town to be called Jfevyport. A 
special meeting was called in Adams, to take the matter under 
consideration, on the 10th of November, 1803, and avote against 
the division was passed, but the meeting united in a petition for 
the erection of No. 8 into a separate town, which was done at 
the next session of the legislature, under the name of Harrison^ 
since changed to Rodman. 

At the first town meeting held by notification of Amasa Fox, 
at the house of Ambrose Pease and from thence adjourned to the 
house of Joseph Landon, March 4, 1806, Augustus Sacket 
was chosen supervisor; William Waring, clerk; Amasa Fox, 
William Baker, Samuel Bates, Jr., Theron Hinman, assessors; 
Ambrose Pease, Robert Bobbins, comers highways; Jotham 
Wilder, John Patrick, overseers of poor; Jeremiah Goodrioh, 
collector; J. Goodrich, Wm. Galloway, John Root, constables. 

Supervisors. — 1806-8, Augustus Sacket; 1808 (special meet- 
ing), Elisha Camp; 1809-18, E. Camp; 1819, Hiram Steele; 
1820-23, E. Camp; 1824, Daniel Hall, Jr.; 1825, E. Camp; 
(special meeting to fill vacancy), Wm. Baker; 1826-27, Daniel 
Hall, Jr.; 1828, E. Camp; 1829-41, Daniel Hall; 1842, Seth P. 
Newell, Jr.; 1843, Benjamin Maxon; 1844, D. Hall; 1845, 
Augustus Ford; 1846-47, B. Maxon; 1848-50, Jesse C. Dann; 
1851, Samuel T. Hooker; 1852, J. C. Dann; 1853, Edgar B. 

1806. " Resolved, That the inhabitants of this town, who shall 
hunt any wolf or panther in this town (though he should kill 
such wolf or panther in any other town), shall be entitled to $10 

" Resolvedy That three delegates be appointed by this town to 
attend a general meeting of the county to nominate a suitable 
candidate for the legislature, at their own expense.** Theron 
Hinman, Augustus Sacket, and Amasa Fox, appointed. 

At a special meeting called for the purpose, January 10, 1807, 
A. Sacket, John Patrick and Elisha Camp, were chosen to 
represent the town at a meeting of delegates from other towns, 
at Watertown, to take into consideration the military situation 
of the county. They were intrusted to protest against any undue 
influences that might be exercised in the meeting. 

172 Houndgfield. 

1807. $10 voted as bounty for every wolf or panther which 
shall be killed by any Inhabitant of the town, which wolf, or 
panther shall be started by such inhabitant within this town. A 
bounty of $26 voted for the greatest quantity of hemp, above five 
hundred weight. Elisha Camp appointed surveyor to the town. 

1808. Voted not to accept the state road as a town road. 
1812. Canada thistles to be destroyed, under a penalty of $1; 
the fines to go towards rewarding such as might discover some 
method of destroying them. " Resolved, that hogs be free com- 
moners, if yoked, the yokes to be 24 inches long by 15, and small 
hogs in proportion." 1815. The poor masters authorized to 
build a poor house for transient poor, if they thought necessary. 
1824. At a special meeting, voted against the poor house system, 
and a remonstrance to the legislature voted. The wolf and pan- 
ther bounties were continued till 1816. In 1822, 1823, 1831, a 
fox bounty of 50 cents was offered. In 1828, the highway com- 
missioners, were directed to offer as stock, the half of the cost of 
the bridge at Dexter, to the plank road leading from thence to 
Bagg's Corners, on the W. & S. H. P. R., and if refused, to petition 
that the bridge be made a toll bridge. 

This town derives its name from Ezra Houndsfield, a native of 
SheflBeld, in England, who, about 1800, came to New York as 
agent for his brothers, John and Bartholomew Houndsfield, man- 
ufacturers and merchants of Sheffield. He engaged in the hard- 
ware trade, and in company with Peter Kimball, purchased in 
common the south half of township No. 1, or the present town of 
Houndsfield. This purchase was made of Harrison and Hoffman, 
March 10, 1801, and subsequently other and smaller purchases 
were made. Mr. Houndsfield was a bachelor, and died in New 
York, about 1817. By his will, dated April 7, 1812, he ap- 
pointed David A. Ogden, Edward Lynde, John Day and Thomas 
L. Ogden, his executors, who advertised a sale at auction of 
the remaining interest of the estate in town at Sackets Harbor, 
August 1, 1817. The executors bought in the properly and 
afterwards conveyed it to Bartholomew, the father of George 
Houndsfield, the present heir of the family, living in Sheffield. 

The town is said to have been named through the influence of 
Mr. Augustus Sacket, who was an acquaintance of Mr. Hounds- 
field. The latter was accustomed to spend his summers in town. 

From an early period of the purchase, the waters of Black 
River Bay were regarded as an eligible place for a commercial 
point, and in a work published in Paris in 1801,* the follow- 
ing description of it is given under the name of JViakoure. 
" At the bottom of this gulf Black River empties, forming a 

* Voyage dans la Haute Pensylranie, et dans PEtat de New York, par ha 
xnembre adoptif de la Nation Oneida. Vol. Ill, p. 408. 

Houndsfield. 173 

barbor sheltered from the winds and surges of the lake, whichy 
during the prevalence of the south-west winds, roll like those 
of the ocean. The land on the right or south of this bay, is 
extremely fertile, and is a grove more fresh than can elsewhere 
be seen. That on the left, i. e. the country that extends to the 
north of the bay of Niahoure, as far as the St. Lawrence, and 
east to the Oswegatchie, is not less fertile, and the colonists 
begin to vie in settling it.'' This bay is elsewhere in the work 
described as comprising all the waters within Six Town Point, 
and Point Peninsula, which on ancient maps was named La 
Famine^ by the French, and Hungry Bay^ by the English. On 
some maps this term is applied to what is now known as Hen- 
derson Bay, and in others to Chaumont Bay. The origin of the 
name is unkown, unless perhaps it may have been derived from 
the misfortunes of De La Barre in 1684. 

This town, having been conveyed through Macomb and Con- 
stable to Harrison, Hoffman, Low, and Henderson, as related in 
our history of the titles, fell to the share of Harrison and Hoff- 
man on division, and the north part was conveyed June 13th, 
1797, for $58,333*33 to Champion and Storrs, amounting to 
11,134} acres,* with the town of Champion (25,708 acres). On 
the 14th of November, 1798, Champion and Storrs sold a portion 
of the above to Loomis and Tillinghast, receiving two notes of 
$6000 each, which, with a mortgage upon the premises, not 
being paid, the tract was sold by a decree of chancery, at the 
Tontine Coffee House in New York, June 20th, 1801, and bid 
off by Augustus Sacket of that city, who received a conveyance 
from Champion, and the assignees of Loomis and Tillinghast. 
While the sale was pending, Mr. Sacket having heard of the 
location, and inclining to engage in its purchase, made a journey 
early in 1801 to the plac^, and was so struck with the great 
natural advantages for a port which the place presented, that 
he hastened back, and having secured the purchase, returned 
with a few men to commence improvements. In the second and 
third year, he erected an ample and convenient dwelling, and 
the little colony received the accession of mechanics and others. 
Other parts of the town began to settle quite as early as the 
Tillage, especially towards Brownville, near which place Amasa 
Fox is said to have made the first improvement in town. In 
September, 1802, a traveler reported about 30 families living in 
township No. 1. The south part of the town, sold to Kemble 
and Houndsfield, was first placed in the hands of Silas Stow, of 
Lowville, as agent, and in an advertisement in the Columbian 
(jazeitcyf of Utica, June 11th, 1804, the land is represented as 
excellent, and ^^the flourishing state of Mr. Sacket's village, its 

* Oneida Deedi, 6, 32. t Vol. 2, No. 65. 

174 Houndsfield. 

advantages of "water carriage and its valuable fishery, renders it 
one of the most inviting objects to an industrious settler." 

In 1805, several English families settled at Sackets Harbor, 
among whom were Samuel Luff, and sons, Edmund, Samuel, 
Jr., Joseph and Jesse; David Merritt, William Ashby, John 
Roots, Henry Metcalf, and George Slowman. Besides these, 
John and William Evans, Squire Reed, Amasa HoUibut, Charles 
Barrie, Uriah Roulison, Azariah P. Sherwin, and others. Dr. 
William Baker settled in 1803, and was the first physician. 
Ambrose Pease, and Stephen Simmons, were early innkeepers, 
and Loren Buss, and Hezekiah Doolittle, merchants. The 
place was at an early day very healthy, and from February, 
1805, till January, 1809, it was remarkable that but one case of 
death occurred (except that of infants), and this was from an 
accidental discharge of a pistol by one of the men employed in 
preventing intercourse with Canada during the embargo. The 
victim of the accident was one McBride, who was killed by 
Julius Torrey, a negro, with whom he had been a companion for 
several years on a desolate island, in the South Seas, and whom 
for a long time he had not seen, and the accident was felt with 
great severity by him. Late in 1808, typhus fever began to 
appear among the citizens and a detachment of United States 
troops, originating with the latter, and of this sickness many 

On the 5th of March, 1809, Sacket conveyed 1700 acres, the 
present village of Sackets Harbor, to Cornelius Ray, William 
Bayard, and Michael Hogan for $30,000 in trust, and a few 
days after Ezra Houndsfield, and Peter Kemble, conveyed to the 
same parties their interest in the tract.* In a declaration of trust 
subsequently made,t the parties concerned in this purchase ap- 
pear to have been C. Ray, W. Bayard, M. Hogan, Herman Le 
Roy, James McEvers, Joshua Waddington, James Lenox, Wil- 
liam Maitland, William Ogden, McLeod, Benjamin W. 

Rogers, Duncan P. Campbell, Samuel Boyd, Abraham Ogden, 
David A. Ogden, and Thomas L. Ogden, each owning y^th part, 
except D. A. & T. L. Ogden, who together owned a y^th part 
The first three named were trustees of the others, and Mr. 
Elisha Camp, a brother-in-law of Mr. Sacket, who settled in 
the village in 1804, and has since remained a leading citizen, 
was appointed the resident agent, under whom the estate was 
sold, the last of the business being closed up about 1848 or '9. 
As these proprietors were mostly extensive capitalists of New 
York, it is to be presumed that their influence was exerted in 

* Jefferson Deeds, B. 260, where a map made by Williaga Bridge in March, 
1809, is also recorded, 
t lb. D. 254. 

Houndsfidd. 175 

securing from the general government some portion, at J east, of 
that attention which this place has received, during and since 
the war as a military and naval depot, but which can scarcely 
"be said to have conferred a lasting benefit upon it. The expend- 
iture of several millions of dollars for labor and materials, 
would, in the opinion of most people, be sufficient to impart a 
visible impulse to the prosperity of a place, but from causes 
which it might be improper or foreign to our purpose to investi- 
gate, such has not been the case here. 

About 1807, there occurred in this town, about 6 miles south 
from the harbor in the Price settlements, one of those incidents 
peculiar to a new country, and which seldom fail to exite the 
sympathies of a whole community, whose common wants, and 
mutual dependence, lead to a bond of union less observable in an 
old settled district. The following sketch was written by Mr. 
David Merritt, one of the English families, who located here in 
February, 1805; the occasion was the loss of a child in the woods. 

*' The parents of the child had recently settled in the woods, 
half a mile from any other dwelling. It was of a Lord's day 
evening, about sunset; the father set out to visit his nearest neigh- 
bor, and, unobserved by him, his son, a child of four years, fol- 
lowed him. 

The father tarried an hour or two, and returned, not having 
seen the little wanderer. The mother anxiously enquired for her 
child, supposing her husband had taken him with him; their 
anxiety was great, and immediate though fruitless search was made 
for the little fugitive. Several of the nearest neighbors were 
alarmed, and the night was spent to no purpose in searching for 
the child. On Monday a more extensive search was made by 
increased numbers, but in vain; and the distressed parents were 
almost frantic with grief and fearful apprehensions for the child's 

Another afflictive and sleepless night passed away, and the 
second morning beamed upon the disconsolate family, the child 
not found, and by this time (Tuesday), reports were in circulation 
of a panther's having been seen recently in the woods by some 
one. This circumstance gave a pungency to the grief and feelings 
of every sympathetic heart unknown before; and the timid and 
credulous were ready to abandon any further efforts to recover 
the child, and give the distressed parents up to despair. 

It was however concluded to alarm a still more extensive circle, 
and engage fresh volunteers in a work that must interest and 
arouse even the unfeeling on common occasions. A messenger 
was dispatched to Sackets Harbor, a distance of six miles; it was 
in itself an irresistible appeal to every feeling heart* To feel, 
was to act. 

176 Hounds/ield. 

Messrs. Luff, Ashby, Merritt, and others immediately mounted 
their horses, and repaired to the scene of painful anxiety; this 
was about eleven o'clock in the forenoon of Tuesday. When 
they arrived at the spot, the number present, that had collected 
from all quarters, was about five hundred men. A small number 
was immediately chosen as a committee to direct the best method 
of search, and they were formed in a line, extending to the right 
and left of the house, a mile each way. They were placed so 
far apart as, for every foot of ground they passed in their search, 
to come under their observation; and when they had marched 
such a given distance from the house, the left or right wing were 
to wheel in such a way, as would, by pursuing the same plan, 
have effectually searched every spot within several miles of the 
house, before evening. The order of the day was, that no person 
should fire a gun, sound a horn, halloo, or make any needless 
noise, whatever; but with vigilance, and a sense of duty to the 
distressed parents, use every effort to recover the child. If the 
child was found alive, every person, that had a gun, was to fire, 
and every one that has a horn to sound it; on the contrary, if the 
child was found dead, one gun only should be fired, as a signal 
to the remote line to cease searching. 

In this way, in silence, they had marched about two miles, 
when a distant gun sounded; it was an anxious moment. ^4s the 
child alive?'* was a thought that ran through every mind; a 
moment more and the hope was confirmed, for the air and forests 
rang with guns and horns of every description. 

The lines were immediately broken up, and each ran, anxious 
to see the little lost sheep. The dear little fellow was presented 
to his now overjoyed parents; a scene that overcame all present. 

When the little boy was found, he was sitting on a small 
mossy hillock, in the middle of a swamp, surrounded by shallow 
water. When the man, who first approached him, extended his 
arms and stooped to take him up, he shrunk from him, appeared 
frightened, and shewed a disposition to get from him. But he 
was much exhausted, and seized eagerly an apple that was held 
to him. Had he not been rescued from his situation, he probably 
would have died at that spot." 

The first mercantile operation at Sackets Harbor on an extensive 
scale, Xvas by Samuel F. Hooker, who in 1808 commenced with 
a stock of $20,000 worth of goods, and in 50 days had sold 
$17,500 worth. The business that then opened with the brightest 
prospects, was the trade of potash, to Montreal, where Astor and 
other heavy capitalists, had placed money in the hands of agents, 
for its purchase. The embargo of 1808, by withholding those 
along our frontier from a career in which they were highly pros- 
perous, naturally led to a spirit of evasion of the laws, and the 

Houndsfield. 177 

difficulty of exporting this great staple of commerce, directly 
from the Atlantic ports to Europe, led to extensive and systematic 
measures for forwarding to the lake and river, from the interior 
and southern counties of the state, and even from New York, 
large quantities of potash. This sometimes vanished in the night, 
or was shipped with due formality to Ogdensburgh, where it dis- 
appeared, and sometimes an open course of defiance of law was 
attempted. In whatever way it may have escaped, it was sure 
of reappearing in Montreal, where it commanded the enormous 
sums of $200 to $320 per ton, and from whence there was no 
obstacle to its export to England. To check this contraband 
trade, two companies of regulars were stationed at Ogdensburgh, 
and Capt. Wm. P. Bennett, with a part of a company of artillery, 
and Lieut. Cross, with a few infantry, was stationed here in 1808 
and a part of 1809. 

On the declaration of war, the United States possessed almost 
no means, whatever, for defensive operations on this frontier. 
The brig Oneida, under Lieutenant Woolsey, with an armament 
of 16 guns, a heavy 36 pound iron cannon, and a few smaller 
ones, some of which belonged to the state militia, constituted the 
sum of our means of defence. The British, it was well known, 
had been preparing for the event, one or two years at Kingston, 
and when the news of war arrived, had the means afloat at that 
place, not only of commanding the lake, but of landing whatever 
force they might possess, at such points as they might select, 
without a reasonable prospect of resistance. Col. Christopher P. 
Bellinger, with a body of drafted militia, had been stationed at 
this place, and an artillery company, under Capt. Elisha Camp, 
had been formed, and had offered their services for a short time, 
which had been accepted by General Brown. As ordnance and 
military stores were of first importance for the defence of the 
place, a meeting was called to press upon the governor the im- 
portance of an immediate attention to these wants, of which the 
following is a copy of the proceedings: 

Sockets Harbor, July 11, 1812. 
" His Ex. Gov. Tompkins, Respected Sir: — The undersigned, a com- 
mittee appointed on the part of the officers stationed at Sackets Harbor, 
and the villagers, for the purpose of adopting measures of defence for 
this place, beg leave to address you on this subject We would earnestly 
solicit your attention to the exposed situation of this place, its liability 
to attack, and to the most expeditious means of resisting with effect any 
offensive operations. This place, it will be known, is the station or port 
from whence the brig Oneida derives all her supplies, and the almost only 
harbor she can with safety resort to from the bad weather of the lake. 
It is a village respectable for size and population, and is the easiest of 
access to any hostile naval force upon the lake. The English have a 
disposable effective naval force of at least sixty eight guns, while all our 
defence consists of 18 guns, on board the Oneida, and 2 nine pounders on 

178 Hound^Jleld. 

shore, less than one third of what may be made to bear upon us. Under 
these circumstances, according to the established usages of war, it would 
be bordering upon insanity for us not to expect that an attack will be 
made upon us, the troops stationed here driven from their encamp- 
ment, a landing effected under the cover of naval artillery, and the village 
demolished, with a large amount of property, and loss of life. And in 
&ct we have it credibly reported, that it is the intention of our enemies 
to capture Captain Woolsey, and destroy the navigation on our side of 
the lake. Having two schooner prizes in port, besides other crafl, we of 
course must daily expect a visit Under this point of view, we have for 
some time considered the subject, and have been awaiting with anxious 
expectation the arrival of cannon and ammunition. It is far from the 
wish of the citizens of this place to retire from it with their families and 
effects and thereby scatter alarm and dismay throughout the country at 
large, but we assure you honored sir, that every consideration of prudence 
and self perse vation would dictate the measure, did not reinforcements of 
artillery soon arrive. We have a very well disciplined company of artil- 
lery, of citizens belonging to this place, who can be rallied at a very short 
notice, and would in conjunction with the soldiers be competent to the 
management of a number of heavy pieces of ordnance besides the two 9 
pounders already here. We should therefore respectfully solicit, that 
the two 9 pounders, and two sixes and other ordnance at the Rome Ar- 
senal, might with suitable fixed and other ammunition be forwarded 
with all possible expedition, and if 10 or 12 nines, twelves, or eighteen 
pounders, could be forwarded, we should. consider the troops, the village 
and the brig Oneida, when here, as secure from attack, or if attacked 
would be able to give a good account of our adversaries. This place 
would then be a safe retreat to the Oneida, should she meet with a re- 
verse of fortune, as well as a safe place of refuge for the navigation of the 
lakes, no harbor being easily of access, or naturally more secure. At 
present, there is no place to which the Oneida can resort with safety, 
in case of attack with a superior force. 

Oswego, Sodus, and Genesee River, she cannot enter with her guns 
aboard, and Niagara is too much exposed. We would further take the 
liberty of suggesting the propriety of some engineer being ordered on 
with instructions to erect suitable temporary batteries to be thrown up by 
the troops for such pieces of ordnance as may be stationed here. Any 
communication that your honor may think proper to make through 
Captain L. Buss, the bearer, to the keeper of the arsenal at Rome or other- 
wise, we have no doubt will be executed with fidelity and dispatch." 

The comiDittee who drafted the above were Colonel Bellinger, 
Major Dill, Captain E. Camp, F. White, and W. Warring. 

During the war, Sackets Harbor became the theatre of military 
and naval operations on an extensive scale, the details of which 
will be given in our chapter on thai subject. It was twice 
attacked by the British, without success, and it was the station 
from which were fitted out the expeditions against Toronto, Fort 
George, &c., and the unfortunate enterprise under General 
Wilkinson, in the fall of 1813. From its being the centre of 
operations so extensive, and the rendezvous of great numbers 
of sailors and soldiers, many incidents occurred that possess much 
interest, and scenes of vice and misery inseparable from camps, 
became familiar to the citizens. 

Houndsjidd. 179 

At this station about a dozen military executions were per- 
formed during the war, for repeated desertion, with the view of 
striking terror into the minds of the disaffected, but with the 
effect of increasing the evil. These cases were many of them 
yoimg men from New England, of respectable families, who in 
the heat of poltical excitement had enlisted in the army, and 
who found themselves the victims of the wanton barbarity of 
officers, exposed to the severest hardships of the camp, and often 
ill clad, and worse fed, sometimes without shelter, and always 
without sympathy. Was it unnatural that under these circum- 
stances the memories of homey with all its comforts, and the 
thoughts of mothers, sisters, wives, and children, and the thou" 
sand associations that cluster around the domestic fireside^ should 
come freshly to mind with a force that was irresistible ? Seve- 
ral of these cases excited much sympathy, among which was 
that of a boy of sixteen years of age, who had been bribed with 
a gold watch, to open a prison door at Greenbush, and who was 
here arrested and convicted. Many officers and citzens made 
strenuous efforts to obtain reprieve, which were enforced by the 
appeals of a mother, but without effect; the agonised parent fol- 
lowed her child to the gallows, and the sympathizing tears of 
the spectators bespoke the feeling which this rigid exercise of the 
iron rule of war had occasioned. 

To the condemned, opportunity was always given to make 
remarks, in which some admitted the justice of their fate, others 
plead the entreaties of their comrades, or the urgent necessities 
of home; and others, while they acknowledged their crime, sup- 
plicated mercy with all the eloquence which the occasion could 
command. .Others treated their fate with indifference, or openly 
preferred it to a life under the circumstances. On one occasion 
the convict, on approaching the scaffold, scrutinized its construc- 
tion with the eye of a carpenter, leaped upon the platform, pushed 
off the hangman, and jumped off himself; but a reprieve arrived 
the instant afler, and he was restored. The place of execution 
was generally in the rear of the village, where the graves were 
dug, and the convicts were marched to the spot, surrounded by a 
guard, and after kneeling by their coffins, were dispatched by the 
shots of several muskets, a part of which only were loaded with 
ball. There were commonly eight men detailed for this purpose. 
The brutality of officers was in some instances excessive; the 
most extreme corporeal punishment being inflicted from the 
slightest causes, or from mere caprice; and such was sometimes 
the bitterness of men, towards officers, that in one case it is 
said a captain durst not lead his company in an action, for fear 
of being shot by his own men. 

Nor were there wanting incidents of a ludicrous kind, which 

180 Houndsfidd. 

enlivened the monotony of the camp, and showed the lights, as 
well as the shades of the soldier's life. Abuses will sometimes 
work their own reform, as was illustrated in an amusing instance 
at this station during the war. A mess of militia soldiers had 
received, for their rations, a hog^s heady an article of diet not 
altogether available, or susceptible of fair and equal division 
among them. They accordingly, upon representation of the 
facts, procured at other messes in the cantonment, a contribution 
in kind, to supply their wants for the coming week, and after the 
morning review, having placed upon a bier, borne on the shoul- 
ders of four men, their ration of pork, they marched through the 
village with muffled drum, and notes of the death march, to the 
cemetery, where it was solemnly buried with military honors. 
On the next occasion, they received from the commissary store 
a supply of edible meat, and the occasion for a similar parade 
did not afterwards occur. 

Soon after the battle of May, 1813, a breastwork of logs and 
earth was built around the village, one end touching the bay 
about half way between the harbor and Horse Island, and the 
other at the site of Madison Barracks. No opportunity was 
afforded subsequently for the use of these defences. The village 
contained at the close of the war, several block houses and can- 
tonments, a considerable quantity of military stores, and a large 
fleet of vessels that were laid up at this place; but these have 
gradually disappeared, until little now remains — one block house, 
the hull of a frigate of 120 guns,^and the remains of one breast- 

A duel was fought with muskets near Madison Barracks, June 
13, 1818, between two corporals of the 2d Reg't U. S. Infantry, by 
which one of them was instantly killed. The surviving party 
was arrested and imprisoned, but the result we have not learned. 
During the war several duels were said to be fought here, but 
they did not attract particular attention with the public, by 
whom these acts were then differently regarded from the present. 
The state of society left here after the war was necessarily cor- 
rupt, from the numbers of dissolute soldiers, and others, who re- 
mained, and the malign influence of vicious examples, of which a 
state of war and a military cantonment invariably furnish too many 
instances, could not fail of leaving their pollution, which years of 
effort on the part of well disposed citizens could not effectually 
remove. The place being continued both as a naval and a 
military station, gave employment to many laborers on the pub- 
lic works, among too many of whom intemperance was a com- 
mon habit, which was followed by all the vices of which it is 
the prolific parent. Among most of the officers stationed here 
after the war, was a high appreciation of morality and good 

Houndsfield. 181 

order, and to them in no small degree is due the first efficient 
efforts towards the formation of religious societies, and the main- 
tenance of regular religious services on the sabbath. 

A short distance from the village, and forming three sides of 
a square that is open to the bay, are Madison Barracks^ which 
were built between August, 1816, and October, 1819, under the 
direction of Thomas Tupper, D. Q. M. G., of the 2nd Infantry, 
at a cost of $85,000; the plan of the buildings was drawn by 
Wm. Smith. Considerable irregularity occurred in the issue of 
due bills, for labor done on these works, which was in part 
remedied by an act passed in 1836, "for the reliefof Jesse Smith 
and others." It would be as inexpedient, as to numbers still 
living unnecessary, to particularize instances of corruption and 
fraud in the expenditure of funds at this place, during the war, 
of which the government never had cognizance, but of which the 
public could not fail of being witness, and it may admit of ques- 
tion, whether the names of certain villains should be allowed to 
rot, or held up to the execration of honest men for all • coming 

President Monroe, soon afler his induction into office, undertook 
a tour through the northern section of the Union, to observe the 
condition of the frontier, and make such arrangements for its 
military security, as might be deemed necessary. Having reached 
Ogdensburgh, on the 1st of August, 1817, he was met by Major 
General Brown, and attended to Rossie, and Antwerp, where he 
was met by Mr. Le Ray, and conducted to Le Raysville. On the 
3d he was waited upon by the committee of arrangements, and 
escorted thence by three troops of horse, under Captains Loomis, 
Fairbanks and White, to the house of Isaac Lee, in Watertown, 
where he received a concise though flattering address from the 
citizens. He then proceeded to Brownville, and on the 4th to 
Sackets Harbor. Upon arriving at the bridge, at the bounds of 
the village, he was saluted with nineteen guns. The bridge was 
tastefully fitted up with nineteen arches, on which were inscribed 
the names of the several Presidents; the first arch being sur- 
mounted by a living American Eagle. At its extremity, the 
chairman of the committee introduced to the President a number 
of veteran officers and soldiers of the revolution, by whom he 
was thus addressed: 

" Sir — It is with pleasure that we, a few of the survivors of the revolu- 
tion, residing in this part of the country, welcome the arrival of the 
chief magistrate of the Union. It is with increased satisfaction that we 
recognize in him one of the number engaged in the arduous struggle of 
establishing the independence of the country. We have lived, sir, to see 
the fruits of our toils and struggles amply realized, in the happiness and 
prosperity of our country; and, sir, we have the fullest confidence, that 
under your administration, they will be handed down to our posterity. 

182 Houndsfield. 

unimpaired. Like your immortal predecessor, the illustrious Washington, 
nay you be honored by the present and future generations, and finally 
receive the rich reward with him in realms above." 

The President received this address with expressions of cordial- 
ity and esteem, highly cheering and satisfactory to the veteran 
soldiers, in several of whom he recognized his former associates 
in arms, in the revolutionary war. Upon passing Tort Pike, a 
national salute was fired, and at the hotel, to which he was 
conducted by Capt. King, chief marshal of the day, an address 
was read to him by the chairman of a committee of citizens. 
Commodore Woolsey then presented the officers of the navy, 
attached to his command. The public works were inspected, 
the troops reviewed, and in the evening the village was tastefully 
illuminated. The events of the late war had given importance 
to this place, and it became a subject of interest, to determine 
what works should be erected for its protection. In this the Pre- 
sident was aided by Major Totten, a military engineer, who had 
been ordered to join the suite at Burlington. 

On the 6th, the President embarked on board the U. S. brig 
Jones, under a national salute, and sailed in company with the 
Lady of the Lake to Niagara. 

For nearly ten years after the close of the war. Colonel Hugh 
Brady was stationed at the harbor, where he organized the 2d 
regiment of United States Infantry. He was subsequently as- 
signed the command of the station at the Sault St. Mary, and 
died, at Detroit, about two years since. 

Captain Alden Patridge, of Middletown, Ct., the celebrated 
teacher of a military school at that place, in the summer of 1828, 
proposed to establish a military and scientific school at Madison 
Barracks, and Peter B. Porter, then secretary of war, on the 3d 
of July, announced in a letter to the citizens of Sackets Harbor, 
the consent of the President, to the loan of the premises, for a 
term of years to the trustees, who might have it in charge. 
This was confirmed by a joint resolution of Congress, of May 2, 
1828, but nothing further was done toward effecting this object 

While Colonel Brady had command of this station, the remains 
of most of the ofiicers, who had fallen in the field, or died of 
sickness, on the frontier, were collected and buried together, 
withm the pickets of Madison Barracks, doubtless with the in- 
tention that at a future time they should be honored with a 
monument, worthy of the memories of American Citizens, who 
yell in the defence of the .American Rights y and the vindication 
of our national sovereignty and honor, 

A temporary wooden monument of pine boards, the form, 
without the substance, of a testimonial to their memory, and 
perhaps emblematical of the empty and perishable honors, which 

Houndifield. 183 

oar people are too wont to bestow upon those who deserve well 
of their country, was placed over the spot where these remains 
were buried, but which, from neglect, and the natural action of 
the elements, has tumbled down. From the panels, which were 
broken and defaced, we made out, with great difficulty, the fol- 
lowing inscriptions: 

North SmE. — ^* Brigadier General\L. Covington^ killed, Chrys^ 
let's Field, U. C.,J^avember 11, 1813/' ''Lieutenant Colonel 
E. Backus, Dragoons, killed at Sackets Harbor, 29 May, 1813," 

East Side. — '* Colonel Tuttle,^^ " Lieutenant Colonel JHx^^ 
'^ Major Johnson,^^ ''Lieutenant Vandeventer.^* 

South Side, — " Lieutenant Colonel Mills, Volunteer, killed 
at Sackets Harbor, 29 May, 1813," " Captain A. Spencer, 29th 
Infantry, aid-^-^amp to Major General Broion, killed at Lun^ 
dy's Lane, July 25, 1814." 

West SmE,—" Brigadier General Z. M. Pike, killed at York 
U. C, 27 April, 1813." "Captain Joseph Mcholson, Uth 
Infantry, aid-de^camp to General Pike, killed at York, U. C, 
27 April, 1813." 

A few years since, the remains of Colonel Mills were removed 
to Albany. 

A prominent and attractive relic of the war at this place, is 
the hull of the frigate New Orleans, which had a keel of 187 
feet, beam 56 feet, hold 30 feet, and a measurement of 3200 tons. 
She was pierced for 110 guns, and could have carried 120. The 
British had got out the St. Lawrence, a three deck man-of-vrar, 
•of 120 guns, and this rendered it necessary to produce some ves- 
sel to match the enemy, and led to the commencement of this 
undertaking. The vessel was never launched, and has been pre- 
served at considerable expense by the government who have 
caused it to be covered by a house. She was to have been 
named the J^ew Orleans. The Chippewa, a vessel quite as large, 
was building at Storr's Harbor, further up the bay, when the 
news of peace put a stop to the building, which had not ad- 
vanced so far as the New Orleans. A house was built over this 
also, and it was preserved many years, but finally taken down 
for the iron it contained. Modern improvements in navigation, 
and especially in the use of steam, have rendered vessels of this 
class, especially on this water, entirely unavailable, and the 
question of keeping up this vessel may be regarded as one of 
doubtful expediency. There are but very few ports on the lake, 
where a vessel drawing water to a depth that this would require 
could enter. 

About 1838, the political aspect of our northern frontier 
threatening collision with the English in Canada, a large num- 
ber of heavy iron cannon, of modern construction, and suited 

184 Houndsjidd. 

for a naval armament, was sent to this place where they now 

Previous to the war, a flourishing commerce had sprung up on 
Lake Ontario, and the following vessels were engaged in trade, 
all of them having more or less business at Sacket's Harbor: 
Genesee Packet y Capt. Obed Mayo, of Ogdensburgh; Dtanay 
Capt. A. Montgomery; Fair American, Capt Augustus Ford; 
Collector^ Capt. Samuel Dixon; Experimenty Capt. C. Holmes; 
Charles and Ann^ Capt Pease; Dolphin^ Capt. William Vaughan, 
and a few others whose names were not obtained. The Fair 
American is said to have been the first vessel built under the 
present government on this lake. She was launched at Uswego 
for the North Western Fur Company. Soon after the war, the 
schooners, Woolsey^ Rambler^ Farmer^s Daughier^ Triumph^ 
Commodore Perry^ Dolphin^ &c., were advertised as running on 
regular lines as packets from this port Ship building, during 
the war, was carried on under the supervision of Henry Eckford, 
who gained, and afterwards maintained, great eminence in this 
department. Noah Brown, and others, who began their career 
under him, subsequently became noted as ship builders. Ever 
since the war, the business of constructing trading vessels at 
this port has been more or less continued, but we have not been 
able to procure the details satisfactorily. 

On the 2d of March, 1799, Congress first enacted a law ap- 
plying to the collection of duties on Lake Ontario, by establish- 
ing two districts, of which all east of Genesee River was in- 
cluded in OswegOy and all west in JVtagara District. 

On the 3d of March, 1803, another act was passed, the third 
section of which read as follows: " And be it further enacted: 
That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to 
establish, when it shall appear to him to be proper, in addition 
to the port of entry and delivery already established on Lake 
Ontario, one other port of entry and delivery on the said lake, 
or on the waters or rivers emptying therein, and to appoint a 
collector of customs, to reside and keep an office thereat." 

In pursuance of this law, Sackets Harbor District was soon 
after established and has been since maintained, having been 
reduced in extent by the formation of Oswegatdiie District j in- 
cluding St Lawrence County, March 2d, 1811, and Cape Vin" 
cent District y April 18th, 1818, comprising all below Point 
Peninsula inclusive. The collectors at this port have been: 
Augustus Sacket, Hart Massay, Perley Keyes, John M. Canfield, 
Thomas Loomis, Danforth N. Barney, Leonard Dennison, John 
O. Dickey, Otis M. Cole, Daniel McCullock and Abram Kromer. 

Congress passed an appropriation of $3,000, May20, 1826, 
for clearing out Sackets Harbor, and an equal sum May 23, 

HoundffieUL 185 

1828, for improving the same. On the 3d of May, 1831., the 
sum of $4,000 was appropriated for a beacon. For improving 
the harbor at the mouth of Black River (Dexter) the following 
sums have been appropriated: July 4, 1836, $3,000; March 3, 
1837, $10,000; July 7, 1838, $22,401. 

About 1823, a project was brought up for diverting a portion 
of the waters of Black River from the lower pond in Watertown,* 
into Pleasant and Mill Creeks, to supply a water power to 
Sackets Harbor. The subject was referred by the legislature to 
the attorney general for his opinion, who decided, that private 
property had often been taken tor private purposes; but from the 
opposition of H. H. Coifeen, 0. Stone, and others, through whose 
lands the canal vrould pass, with active influence at Brownville, 
the measure was then defeated. In 1825, the effort was renewed, 
and an act passed April 20, 1825, which authorized Joseph 
Kimball, Amos Catlin, and Daniel Hall, Jr., to divert the sur- 
plus waters of the river into Pleasant and Stony Creeks, in 
Houndsfield, Adams, and Henderson, for hydraulic purposes* 
Damages to be assessed by Egbert Ten Eyck, Clark Allen, and 
Joseph Hawkins; and road and farm bridges were to be maintained 
by the company. The act was coupled with a proviso, that the 
waters should not be taken from any dam then existing, without 
the tcritlen consent of the owners; that effectually defeated the 
purpose, for this was next to impossible. Being still determined 
to prosecute the matter, a meeting was called at Sackets Harbor, 
February 13, 1826, at which strong resolutions urging their ne- 
cessities, and deprecating the proviso of the late law, were 
passed. The annual loss and inconvenience to farmers for want 
of the privilege, was estimated at from $10 to $50 each, for 
those on the lake shore and its vicinity; and measures were 
resolved upon to get the obnoxious restriction removed by a new 
appeal to the legislature. On the 17th of April, 1826, the act 
Mras amended; but still it was attended with difRculties that could 
not be surmounted. 

The proposition was next discussed of making the proposed 
canal navigable, which it was estimated could be done at a cost 
of $200,000 from Carthage to Sackets Harbor, and that an an- 
tiual revenue from tolls amounting to $ 16,000 could be expected. 

An act was accordingly procured, April 15, 1828, incorporating 
the Jefferson CourUy Canal Company^ with a capital of $300,- 
CXX), in shares of $100, in which Vincent Le Ray, Philip Schuyler, 
Egbert Ten Eyck, Elisha Camp, Jason Fairbanks, Levi Beebee, 
Arthur Bronson, John Felt and Joseph Kimball, were named the 
first parties. Nothing was done under this act. It being under- 
stood that Mr. Elisha Camp, of Sackets Harbor, was willing to 
assume, under certain conditions, the stock necessary for the 


186 Hauhdsfidd. 

construction of the work, a meeting was held at Watertown, 
December 30, 1829, at which a committee of three was appointed 
to confer on the propriety of the course, and learn what encour- 
agement would be afibrded in aid of the work. 

By the act of April 28, 1839, a tax was imposed upon real 
estate within the village of Sackets Harbor, and on the mill sites 
on Pleasant Creek, amounting to $3000 in two years, to be 
assessed in proportion to the benefits to be received, and on 
20th of April, 1630, Elisha Camp was appointed a commissioner 
for this duty in place of Daniel Hall, resigned, and the act was 
extended till June of that year. A canal twenty feet wide at top 
and twelve at bottom, four feet deep, was made in 1830, from 
Huntington's Mills, two miles above the village of Watertown, 
to the Big Swamp, and in 1832 it was finished, supplying to 
the village of Sackets Harbor a valuable water power, upon 
which there was erected there a grist mill, two saw mills, plaster 
mill, paper mill, furnace, &c. 

The law was so framed, however, as to give rise to litigation. 
The greatest difficulty, however, encountered, was in maintaining 
the first half mile of the ditch, which was constructed along the 
margin of Black River, where it was liable to be washed away 
on one side, and filled by slides of clay and sand on the other. 
These difficulties finally led the work to be abandoned, after 
having been in use about ten years, to the pecuniary loss of all 
parties concerned. 

On the 23d of May, 1838, a paper mill of Col. Camp, at the 
Harbor, was burned with a loss of from $7,000 to $10,000. It 
bad been in operation about a year. 

A destructive fire occurred at Sackets Harbor on the morning 
of August 21, 1843, originating in a ware house on the wharf, 
as was supposed from the cinders of the steamer St Lawrence 
and spreading rapidly, consumed nine buildings on the north side 
of Main Street, and eight upon the south side. Passing up 
Bayard Street, it consumed several bams and dwellings, an^ 
from the violence of the wind the flakes of burning materials 
were wafted to the cupola of the Presbyterian Church, which 
was burned. Upon the alley or street in the rear of Main Street, 
a number of buildings and much property was burned. The 
whole number of buildings consumed was about forty; the loss 
over $36,000. Had this fire occurred in the night time, from its 
rapidity and viblence, a loss of life could have scarcely been 
avoided. An ineffectual suit was instituted against the steam 
boat company. On several other occasions the village has suf- 
fered severely by fires. 

The village of Sackets Harbor, comprising great lots number 
twenty-two and fift}'-four, and subdivision lots one and two, in 

great lot number fiflty-two, of Houndsfieldy was incorporated 
April 15, 1814. Elections of seven trustees were to be held on 
tbe first Tuesday of June, annually. Not less than three, nor 
more than five assessors were to be elected annually, together 
"with a collector, treasurer, and as many fire wardens as the trus- 
tees might direct. A president was to be chosen by the trustees 
from their number, and some proper person for a clerk. 

Tbe bounds of the village were curtailed April 18, 1831, by 
the detachment of all that portion north and east of thePleasant, 
or Mill Creek, which were exempt from the operation of the 
former act. 

On the 9th of May, 1840, the act was still further amended. 

A ferry was established across Black River Bay at an early 
day, and by an act of March 31, 1821, Charles Colburn and 
Samuel Folsom were licensed to keep it five years. On the 21st 
of January, 1826, £zra C. Folsom was in like manner licensed 
for five years. The subject is now under the care of the courts. 

About 1840, a union school house, two stories high, besides 
a basement, was built at Sackets Harbor, on a lot at the corner 
of Broad and Washington streets, given by Mr. Ogden for 
the purpose. The cost was about $2,000, and it is intended for 
three departments. It has been taught by from three to five 
teachers, is supplied with a set of plilosophical apparatus, and af- 
fords facilities equal to those enjoyed at most academies. Schools 
are maintained here four terms of eleven weeks each in the year. 
It is the only public school within the corporation. The head 
teacher has generally been a graduate from college. 

The Gull, Snake, Great and Little Galloo, and Stony Islands 
lying in lake Ontario, west of this town, are considered as be- 
longing to it, although they all are nearer the shore of Hender- 
son. On Galloo island is a lighthouse. 

The Muskelonge Burial Ground Association of Houndsfield 
was formed March 31, 1849, with Frederick M. Livermore, 
Samuel Wilder, Thomas W. Warren, Richard Hooper, John 
Hunt, Chauncey Smith, trustees. 

In 1815 (September 13), the Union Library of Sackets Har- 
bor was formed, with Justin Butterfield, Elisha Camp, Amos 
HoltODy Daniel McGiven, James Goodhue, Andrew B. Cooke, 
and Samuel Bosworth, trustees, but was of short duration. It 
was succeeded by the Houndsfield Library, April 10, 1827, with 
Alexander W. Stow, John McMillan, Nathan Bridge, T. S. 
Hall, and Samuel Guthrie, trustees. About five hundred volumes 
were collected, but it has been long since sold. The Water- 
town and Houndsfield Library was formed January 11, 1831, 
with Eliphalet M. Howard, John C. Herri ck, Chauncey D. Mor- 
gan, Obadiah Brainard, and Oliver Grow, trustees, which has 
also gone down. 

188 Houndifie(4. 

The Young Men's Association for Mutual Improvement in the 
village of Sackets Harbor, was incorporated March 2, 1843. 
The persons named in the act were Augustus Ford, M. K. Stow, 
Walter Kimball, Edmund M. Luff, Jonathan W. Tuttle, John 0. 
Dickey, Edward S. Robbins, Roswell C. Bosworth, and William 
H. H. Davis. This association, after an existence of a few 
months, was dissolved. 

Religious Societies. — ^The first regular meetings in this town 
were held by Edmund Luff, an English settler, who, at his own 
expense, erected a house, still standing, for religious services, 
and preached here many years without fee or reward. There 
being no other meetings in the place, these were generally at- 
tended by those of different religious faith. Mr. Luff* was a 
Restorationist, approaching somewhat the doctrines of Univeff* 
salists, and was a man very free from that narrow spirit of into* 
lerance, that disgraces too much of what is too often denominated 
religioTu His pulpit was opened to clergymen of other faiths, 
irrespective of name, and both Catholics and Protestants en- 
joyed, when occasion demanded, the freedom of his house. 
During the war the hou^e was given up for public uses. 

The SackeVs Harbor Presbyterian Society ^ was formed Feb- 
ruary 12th, 1816, with Melancthon T. W^oolsey, Samuel Bos- 
worth, Samuel F. Hooker, Elisha Camp, and Enoch Ely, 
trustees. A site for a church was given by Thomas L. Ogden, 
September, 1817. In 1818, an effort was made to raise the 
means for building a church, which was built in this and the 
following year, and iu the great fire ot August 19th, 1843, it 
was burned. The Rev. Mr. Judd, and vestry of the Episcopal 
Church, soon after tendered the society the use of their chiirch 
on Sunday afternoons, which was respectfully declined, and the 
session house fitted up until a new church could be built. 

A brick church, 48 by 64, on the corner of Broad and Main 
streets, was built in 1846, at a cost of $6000. A parsonage 
has also been purchased. The Presbyterian Church, was formei 
.by an effort of the officers of the army and navy, who were 
anxious to have religious privileges, although not members of a 
church. A minister was hired, and a church formed, Februaiy 
6th, iSlTy of which several of the army and navy became meOH 
bers. These, on removing, formed others in distant points, el 
Green Bay, Sault St Marie, &c. . Rev. Samuel F. Snowdea 
was first employed in 1816, and staid till 1826. In Decembei^ 
1826, Rev. J. Burchard was employed about a year, and Dih 
cember 1 1th, 1827, Rev. James R. Boyd till 1830. Rey. X 
Irvin, was employed in 1831, and January 5th, 1832, was in* 
stalled. In 1836, Rev. — Wilson was invited, and was em* 

• ICr. Lof died at SaeluU Harbor in 1829. 

HounckfiebL 1S9 

ployed. In 1839, Rev. — Sturgcs, 1 year. In July, 1841, Rev. 
— Payson; in October, 1841, Rev. — Townsend, who in 
February, 1842, was invited to become a pastor, and remained 
several years. On the 29th October, 1849, Rev. Leicester A. 
Sawyer was called, and June 1 1th, 1850, was installed as pastor. 
The church has belonged to the Watertown Presbytery, since 
February lOth, 1819. 

About 1822, a small society of Universalists was formed, 
which continued three or four years. 

CkrisVs Church (Episcopal) was legally organized, August 
6th, 1821, with Henry Moore Shaw, rector; Zeno Allen, and 
Elisha Camp, wardens; Robert M. Harrison, Samuel 0. Ach- 
muty, William Kendall, John McCarty, Hiram Steele, Thomas J. 
An^el, Hiram Merril, and Thomas Y. Howe, vestrymen. A 
church organization was formed, September 29th, 1821, and the 
next year a subscription was circulated to obtain the means for 
erecting a chuich. The comer stone was laid, May 26th, 1823, 
with masonic ceremonies, but was not completed till after seve- 
ral years of delay. William Warring, Elisha Camp, William 
M. Robbins, S. F. Hooker, William M. Sands, S. O. Achmuty, 
and R. M. Harrison, subscribed sums of $100 and upwards, for 
the erection of the church. The Rev. Messrs. M. Beardsley, Wm. 
L. Keese, A. C. Treadway, — Noble, Benjamin Wright, Jr., 
Rufus D. Stearns, and G. Huntington, have been 'Successively 
employed here as missionaries. In 1852, the church reported 
44 families (79 adults, and 53 children) as belonging to the 
congregation, and 54 as belonging to the church. It receives a 
small stipend from Trinity Church, New York. 

The Methodists formed a legal society here. May 9th, 183 1, 
with Asahel Smith, Alvah Kinney, Hiram Steele, John H. McKee, 
William Francis, Elijah Field, Paniel Griffin, Samuel Whitby, 
and Samuel C. J. DeCamp, trustees. In 1835, it was reor- 
ganized, and in 1841, they erected a church at a cost of about 

The Christian Church of Houndsfield was formed in 1820 of 
about forty members, under the Rev. Lebbeus Field. A division 
haying occurred, a new organization was effected, and in 1843 
tbey erected near Blanchard's Corners, four miles from Water- 
town Village, a church, at a cost of about $1100. 

The Seventh Day Baptist Religious Society of the town of 
Houndsfield, was formed December 26th, 1847, with Benjamin 
Mazson, Elias Frink, John Ulter, Nathan Truman, and John 
Witter, trustees. In 1853, they had 41 members, mostly near 
^ Une.of Watertown. 

190 Le Ray^ 

Le Ray. 

This town, embracing all that part of Brownville, as it pre- 
viously existed, lying east of Penet's Square, continued to Black 
River, was erected Feb. 17, 1806; the first town meeting being 
directed to be held at the house of Abiel Shurtleff. By an act 
of April 4, 1806, all that part of Leyden, in Jefferson County, 
was annexed to Le Ray, and by the erection of Antwerp, Wilna, 
Alexandria, and Philadelphia, it has been reduced to its present 
limits. The town derives its name from James D. Le Ray de 
Chaumont, the distinguished landholder, who made the town his 
home many years. 

The following officers were elected at the first town meeting, 
in 1807. James ShnrtliiF, supervisor; ThonSasWard, c/erA/ John 
B. Bossout, Ruel Kimball, Richardson Avery, assessors; Daniel 
Child, Lyman Holbrook, Daniel Sterling, commissioners high' 
ways; Thos. Thurston, constable and collector; Joseph Child, 
Eldad Evans, overseers of the poor. 

Supervisors. — 1807-15, James ShurtliiF; 1816, Ruel Kimball; 
1817, Ethni Evans; 1818, Alvin Herrick; 1819-25, Horatio 
Orvis; 1826, Wm. Palmer; 1827-29, John Macomber; 1830, 
Stephen D. Sloan; 1831, J. Macomber; 1832, S. D. Sloan; 1833- 
35, Lybeus Hastings; 1836, Ira A. Smith; 1837, S. D. Sloan; 
3838, Daniql D. Sloan; 1839-40, Joel Haworth; 1841-42, Elisha 
Potter; 1843, L. Hastings; l844r-5, Hez. L. Granger; 1846-7, 
Alfred Veber; 1848-49, Joseph Boy er; 1850, Wm. G. Comstock; 
1851, Joseph Boyer; 1852-53, Alonzo M. Van Ostr'and. 
. Wolf bounties of $5, were voted in 1809, 12, 14, 16, 18; in 
1818 $5 for panthers; wolf bounties of $10 in 1810, 13, 15,20; 
fox bounties of 50 cents voted in 1810, 16, 17, 18; of $1 in 1821. 
In 1817 voted that the overseers of the poor, and justices of the 
peace, build or hire, a work house for indigent people, and that 
the sum of $50 be levied for that purpose. 

In the summer of 1802, Benjamin Brown, a brother of Ota. 
« Brown, commenced the erection of a saw mill on Pleasant Creek, 
in the present village of Le Rayville. The party left Brownville, 
April 17, to cut a road through to this point, led by Jacob Brown, 
who preceded with a compass to mark the line, and after a few 
miles returned, leaving word that he would send on a team with 
provisions. From the difficulties of the route, these supplies did 
not arrive till the second day, when the parties had reached their 
destination, half famished. In July Mrs. B. Brown arrived, the 
first woman in the settlement, and in the fall the mill was com- 
pleted. At the raising, men were summoned from great distances. 
These occasional reunions for mutual aid, afforded in these 
primitive times the only opportunities which they enjoyed for 

Le Ray. 101 


exchanging the news, comparing progress, and speculating 
on the pro&ibilities of the future, nor could thirty or forty men 
in the prime of life, and many of them accustomed to the stimulus 
of ardent spirits, allow those meetings to pass without a frolic 
Our chronicle relates, that on this occasion ^Mhe party was feasted 
upon a fine buck, that, when dressed, weighed 228 pounds." This 
game was very common in town at that period. 

The silken cord which binds two willing hearts, will sometimes 
chafe and irritate, as happened in this town, more than half a 
century since, when a lady of many advantages, having wedded 
a Frenchman, accustomed to the rough fare of common life, had 
found the hut of the backwoodsman a poor place for the enjoyment 
of life's comforts; in short, got sick of the bargain, and sent for 
a magistrate to come and untie ^Uhe knot." As this request required 
deliberation and council, the justice invited one or two of his 
neighbors to accompany him, and remembering the scripture, 
thaf wine maketh the heart glad," took with him a bottle of 
Port, and repaired to the dwelling, with the design of negotiating 
the question, and, if possible, of settling it by mutual compromise. 
The ills of single life were contrasted with the discomforts of 
marriage, in such a light as to produce conviction jn preference 
of the Tatter, and the parties having consetited to remarriage, 
were again pledged for life, and the umpires returned home with 
an empty bottle, and a consciousness of having merited the bless- 
ing upon peace makers. The current of wedded life thenceforth 
flowed quiet and uniform till old age, and the parties have but 
recently been separated by the hand of death. . 

Scattered settlements had begun in various parts of the present 
town of Le Ray in 1803-4, among whom where Joseph Child, and 
sons Daniel, Samuel, and Moses; Benj. Kirkbride, Thos. Ward 
and others. Wm. Cooper settled at a very early day, resided till 
his death, January 11, 1851. Dr. Horatio Orvis was the first 
practicing physician who located in town about 1808. Roswell 
Woodruff, settled in 1804, about six miles from Watertown, in 
the direction of Evans Mills, where he purchased a large farm, 
and resided till his death in 1830. 

The first general agent from abroad, sent by Mr. Le Ray, to 
look after his lands, was M. Pierre Joulin, the Cure of Chau- 
mont, in France, who was one of the faithful few who would 
not take the constitutional oath, and was sent to America by 
Mr. Le Ray, to save him from the guillotine, and to have a fair 

Srospect for providing the means for a comfortable subsistence, 
oulin was loved and respected by all who knew him, and after 
the troubles in France had subsided, he returned. 

Moss Kent was early appointed to the agency of lands, and 
continued in that capacitj^ several years, living in Mr. Le Ray's 

192 Le Ray. 

family until the departure of that gentleman for Europe in 1810, 
when he remained with his son Vincent. When Joulin first 
met Mr. Kent, they would have been unable to communicate, 
had it not been that both being classical scholars, they were en- 
abled to converse in Latin. 

In 1806, Dr. Bawdry, another Frenchman, was sent by Mr. 
Le Ray to select the site of a house, and superintend its erection. 
This vicinity was probably chosen from its central position, and 
the locality was one of much beauty, near the edge of the pine 
plains, within sight of the little village of Le Raysville, and in 
the midst of a native growth of timber, which was carefully 
thinned out, and the premises adorned with every appendage 
that fancy could suggest. Mr. Le Ray came in with his family 
to reside here in 1808, and began a liberal system of settling 
bis lands, by opening roads, building bridges and mills, and of- 
fering fair inducements to the first settlers of a new neighbor- 
hood. If he had a fault as a land holder, it was in being over 
indulgent in allowing payments to ])ass by, and too readily list- 
ening to the complaints of settlers, by which both himself and 
his purchasers were eventually the losers. Jle was uniformly 
liberal in aiding religious societies and schools, the most c^ 
whom, on his tract, received, gratuitously, the site for buildings, 
and many of them substantial aid besides. 

About 1819, Mr. Le Ray sent a young and talented scholar 
of the Polytechnic School, by the name of Desjardines, who bad 
invented a new mode of manufacturing powder, and caused to 
be erected, under his direction, a powder mill, a mile below Le 
Raysville, which run a few seasons, making a large quantity of 
coarse quality, which had the reputation of being ^^ lazy " but 
strong, and well adapted for blasting. *Its slowness gave remark 
to a saying ^^ that on a time, a man having a considerable sup- 
ply, accidentally discovered it on fire, and, being distant frooi 
neighbors, before it could be extinguished, it had half consumed." 
The mill was afterwards changed to a starch mill, for making 
potato starch, and the site is now occupied by Slocum's grist 
mill. The charcoal used was made of alder wood, carefully 
peeled, and charred in close iron vessels. 

Le Raysville continued to be the seat of the land office until 
about 1835, when it was removed to Carthage, since which the 
place has lost much of its importance. It is but a small village, 
and is nine miles from Watertown, three from Evans' Mills, sind 
two from the Great Bend. 

Evans^ Mills is a small but pleasant village, situated at the 
junction of West and Pleasant Creeks, the latter of which af- 
fords a limited amount of water power, and is one mile from In- 

ht Ray. ^ 183 


dian River. It owes its name to Ethni Evans,* a millwright, 

from Hinesdale, New Hampshire, who came into the country in 
the employment of Jacob Brown, about 1802, and July 9, 1804, 
purchased of Le Ray a tract of 192 acres, for $577. About 
1805 or 6, mills were commenced, and in 1809 the place con- 
tained but a saw and grist mill, and a small tavern. The first 
merchant and inn-keeper at the village was Jenison Clark. 

In June, 1812, the inhabitants of Evans' Mills commenced 
the erection of a block house, for protection against Indian mas- 
sacre, but the alarm subsided before the body of the house was 
finished, and it was never used. Several families from the 
Mohawk had settled here, and the traditions they possessed of 
savage warfare, of which some had been witnesses, doubtless 
originated the alarm. ' 

A post office was established here about 1823-24, which, in 
1846, was changed to Evansville, and in 1851, to the original 
name of Evans' Mills. This village, at present, contains two 
inns, three stores, two groceries, one hardware store, three 
blacksmith shops, one cabinet shop, two wagon shops,, one grbt 
mill, one saw mill, the usual variety of mechanics, four physi- 
cians, about sixty dwellings, and from 300 to 400 inhabitants. 
There are here churches of the Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, 
and Catholic orders. The village is three miles from Le Rays* 
ville, seven from Sterlingville and Philadelphia, ten from Theresa, 
twelve from Stone Mills, thirteen from La Fargeville, three from 
Pamelia Corners, eleven from Brownville, ten from Watertown, 
by plank road, six from Black River Village, and twelve from 
Caithage. The Potsdam and Watertown Rail Road will pass 
through the village. 

The Pint PlainSy a very interesting feature, due to geological 
causes, extend into this town from Wilna, and were, when the 
country was first explored, covered with a most valuable growth 
of pine timber. Immense quantities have been cut off, and fires 
have run over more or less of the tract, every few years, since 
1804, so that between the two agencies they have been mostly 
stripped of their timber, leaving a light, barren, sandy soil, of 
little value. Perhaps the most destructive fire that has occurred 
on these plains was in July, 1849, but running fires have oc- 
curred in almost every season of extreme drouth. With the ex- 
ception of these sand plains, the town is fertile and well culti- 
vated. Like several adjoining towns, it is underlaid by vast 
quantities of water limestone, which has been manufactured to a 
considerable extent at one or two places. 

A union library was formed in May, 1810, with Abner Pas- 

* Judgt Evaai died February 22, 1832, aged 62. 

194 Le Ray. 

sell, James Shurtliff, Horatio Orvis, Ruel Kimball, Oloey Pierce^ 
Isaac Ingerson, and Jonathan Miller, trustees. 

Religious Societies. — The Baptist church of Le Ray was 
formed in 1814, about two miles from Evans' Mills, by Elder 
Malt by, and in 1818 was removed to that place. A society was 
formed November, 1823, with E. Evans, Asa Hall, Levi Read, 
John Macomber, Stephen D. Sloan, and Chauncey Morse, first 
trustees. A church edifice was begun and nearly finished, when 
it was accidentally burned. Mr. Le Ray gave the society a sub- 
stantial donation in lumber, with the aid of which the preset ' 
Baptist church at Evans' Mills was erected. Elders Matthew 
Wilkie, John Blodget, Thomas A. Warner, John F. Bishop, 

Tillinghast, Adams, Ford, N. Bishop, 

Ward, and others have been employed here. In 1835 the soci- 
ety was reorganized. 

The Congregational Church of Le Ray, at Evans' Mills, was 
formed, January 13th, 1814, at the house of Elisha Scofield, by 
Rev. N. Dutton,of Champion, of 12 members. It soon joined the 
Black River Association, and February 12th, 1825, became Pres- 
byterian. In 1841, it united with the Ogdensburgh (old school) 
Presby teiy. Rev. Ruel Kimball was employed the first ten years, 
and Rev. C. G. Finney 6 months, in 1825-6, since which, John 
Sessions, R. Pettibone, T. C. Hill, John Eastman, Thomas Bel- 
lamy, and Joseph A. Rosseel, have been employed. Mr. Eastman 
has alone been installed pastor. The First Associated Congrega- ■ 
tional Society of the town of Le Ray was formed, March 3d, 1823, 
with David Burhans, Milton W. Hopkins, Clark W. Cande, Dr. 
Ira A. Smith, Silvenas Evans, and Silvester Kelsey, trustees. 
In 1826, the present church was built at a cost of $2,600, of 
which Mr. Le Ray gave $200. 

The First Reformed Church of the town of Le Ray, wis 
formed July 13th, 1822, with Alexander H. Van Brocklin, Peter 
Hovee, Richard Hovee, and John C. Walrath, the first elders and 
deacons. This society has no house of worship. 

The first society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Le 
Ray, was formed November 20th, 1824, with James Ward, Wil- 
son Pennock, Elijah Smith, William Taggard, P. S. Stewart, 
Henry Churchill, Parker Chase, John Y..Stewart, and Daniel 
Smith, trustees. They have been once reorganized, and have a 
church at Evans' Mills. The second society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church of Le Ray was formed October 25th, 1824, 
with Francis Porter, Seneca Weed, Curtis Cory, John Humphrey, 
Daniel Burden, and Elijah Cory, trustees. This society has 
also been reorganized. 

A Union Church has been recently erected at Sanford's Cor- 
ners in this town. 

Lorraine. Id5 

Tbe Friends have a meeting house between Evans' Mills and 
Le Raysville belonging to the Le Ray Monthly Meeting, of 
which denomination a more particular account will be given in 
our account of Philadelphia. 

In 1848, the Catholics erected a church at Evans' Mills (St. 
Michael's), the attending priest being the same as at Watertown. 


Was erected as Malta from Mexico, by an act passed March 
24th, 1804, but it being found inconvenient to have two towns 
of the same name in the state, and there being then a Malta in 
Saratoga County, the name was changed to the present, April 
6th, 1808, together with many others having duplicate names. 

By the first act of incorporation, this town was made to in- 
clude its present limits with those of Worth, or townships one 
and two, of the Boylston Tract, and the first town meeting was 
directed to be held at the house of John Alger, Williamstown in 
Oswego County, and Harrison now Rodmaii, in this, were 
formed by the same act. At the annual town meeting, legally 
warned, and held March 5th, 1805, at the dwelling house of 
John Alger, the following town officers were elected. Asa 
Brown, supervisor; William Hosford, clerk; Clark Allen, Or- 
mond Butler, Warner Flowers, assessors; 0. Butler, constable 
and collector; William Hunter, C. Allen, poor masters; William 
Hosford, Michael Foost, Asa Sweet, commissioners highways; 
William Lanfear, Joseph Case, Elijah Fox, fence viewers; 
James McKee, John Griswold, pound masters. 

When the country was new, deer were very common in this 
region, and of course wolves, which led to the offering of bounties 
for their destruction for many years. Wolf bounties* of $5 were 
offered in 1809, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17. 18, 19, 20; of $10 in 
1806, 11. Panther bounties of $5 in 1810, 17, 19, 20; of $10 
in 1811. Fox bounties of $0*50 in 1816. In I806,vo^ed, tluU 
there he a pair of stocks erected in the town of Malta. Voted, 
that the stocks be set at the crotch of the roads near John Alger's. 
We can not learn that this salutary instrument of justice was 
ever erected. At the same town meeting voted, that swine be 
yoked, and ringed, and shut up in pens. In 1812 voted,'that each 
person, allowing Canada thistles to grow, after being notified, 
pay the sum of t;2; that the informer shew the owner where said 

* It has been said, that on a certain occasion, one or more wolves were 
driven from Lewis County into the town, and killed, to secure the bounty. If 
to, 4he transaction was far more upright than the varied schemes practiced in 
some of the towns of Franklin County, at an early period, to procure the 
teward offered. 

196 Lorraine. 

thistles are; that the money go to support the poor. In I8l3 this 
law was again passed. 

Supervisors.— ISOb-^, Asa Brown; 1807, Clark Allen; 1814 
Elihu GiJlet; 1815-24, Clark Allen; 1825-29, John Boyden; 
1830-31, Jared Gleason; 1832-35, J. Boyden; 1836-37, Loren 
Bushnell; 1838-39, Elisha Allen; 1840, L Bushnell; 1841, £. 
Allen; 1842-43, James Gifford; 1844, J. Boydenj 1845,E. Allen; 
1846, J. Boyden; 1847, David J. Redway; 1848-51, Moses 
Brown; 1852, James Gifford; 1853, Wiliard W. Huson. 

The first settlement in this town was made in November 1802, 
by James McKee and Elijah Fox, the latter a single man. During 
the following winter and spring several families moved in, 
amone whom were Comfort Stancliff, Benjamin Gates, — Cutler, 
— Balcom, John Alger and others. Cutler built mills about 
1804. The first locations were made along the line of the state 
road from Rome to Brownville, and being easily accessible, was 
soon settled. A mail route was established at an early period; 
the first carrier being Simeon Parkhurst. Benjamin Gates was 
the first post master. 

This town was settled under the agency of Benjamin Wright, 
and others; the unsettled interests being owned by the Hon. 
William C. Pierrepont, of Pierrepont Manor. There were, Sept 
1, 1806, 128 settlers in this town, who had acquired evidences^ 
of title or long credit to pay for it. 

In quoting from the journal of James Constable, in our accoant 
of Ellisburgh, we alluded to the practice of issuing certificates to 
settlers. Of these the same journal remarks, August 10, 1806: 

" Town No. 1 was settling very fast, and indeed all that part 
of the country watered by Sandy Creek had got a name that 
brought settlers in great numbers. We find the practice of giving 
certificates to those people, allowing them a certain time after 
exploring to go for their families, before they take contracts for 
their lots, has been productive of speculation, and must not be 
continued. A Mr. Salisbury, who had formerly taken a contract, 
sold it to another, and bought, or procured, one of these certifi- 
cates, came to us, apparently to ask indulgence, as to the time 
of payment, but really with a view to ascertain what our inten- 
tions were in respect to such instruments, when we explained to 
him that they were given to assist the first real settlers, and by 
no means to be transferable to second or third parties, as that led 
to speculation, upon the persons who ought to have indulgence, 
not to the speculators, who profited to the disadvantage of both 
the proprietors and actual settlers. We of course would oppose 
all such attempts, and as he had seen fit to change his situation 
from holding a contract under us, to speculating in ceftificates, 
which be must have known were intended only as an tccommc^ 

Lorraine. IVt 

datioD to the first parties, vre could not treat with him, as the 
indulgence intended to them could not be transferred. Upon con<- 
versation with Mr. Wright, we found the certificates had already 
occasioned some mischief, and we discovered from others that 
some of the holders of them had caused it to be believed that all 
the best part of the town was taken up, so that new comers were 
obliged to apply to them, or go to some other town. Mr. Wright 
had no books or accounts here, but supposed that about hall of 
the town was sold, either by contract or conditional agreement, 
and would average $3, though the sales were begun, and a good 
deal sold at $2. The lowest price now was $3, and it might at 
once be raised to $4, for the whole, from the^reat immigration 
to this quarter. He gave it as his opinion that it was not for 
our interest to hurry sales, as this town would speedily settle, 
and the price might be raised. W^e told him he should have our 
determination on our return from St. Lawrence County. When 
vre were at Smith's Mills we had an application from Mr. Frost, 
whose mill on No. 1, has been carried away by the freshet in 
April, at the rising of Sandy Creek, who stated that his loss by 
that event had disabled him from building another mill, and he 
intends, after paying for his lot, to sell to David Smith, who 
would engage to build a mill on the same site the next season. 
Having told him that we wanted to see Mr. Wright at his house 
(Drake's), to-day, he promised to be there and settle his contract, 
but be did not come, and we find by Mr. Wright that Smith, who 
already holds a quantity of land in No. 1, and is the owner of 
the mills on No. 7, would be an improper person to hold that 
mill seat, unless bound to build a mill immediately, because the 
settlers would be obliged to come to his present mills from. a great 
distance. We accordingly left directions with Mr. Wright to 
settle with Frost, so that the mill seat did not pass to one who 
would not erect a mill for the accommodation of settlers. Smith 
owns a large property, and is a moneyed man. He is supposed 
to be on the look out for such opportunities, and perhaps pos- 
sessed of some of the certificates just alluded to, it is therefore 
advisable to be cautious of such people. Mr. Weight having in- 
information from Mr. Hunter of the probability of iron ore on lot 
No. on town 7, we went this afternoon to the spot, Drake, who is 
a blacksmith, accompanying us. We found the place designated 
by Hunter, which was under the roots of a large tree, blown up 
in a swampy place, where were some collections of a hard sub- 
stance, not unlike the dung of sheep, and those on the surface of 
' the ground. We digged with stakes, but found nothing different, 
and after a trial |by fire at Drake's house of what we brought 
there, the result was an appearance of the cinders of coal rather 
than iron, so that we concluded Hunter was deceived by appear- 


196 Lorraine. 

ances.* We afterwards went to see the remains of a bearer 
meadow, and were much entertained at it, being of large extent, 
and the work of these animals is surprising." 

Soon after the declaration of war, the followingdocument was 
forwarded to General Brown: 

Lorrainey July 21, 1812. 

"Dear Sir: Viewing our country in danger, and feeling a 
willingness to defend the same, sixty men assembled in this place 
and made choice of Joseph Wilcox, as captain; James Perry, 
lietUenant; Ebenezer Brown, Jr., ensign. This is therefore to 
desire your honor to furnish us with arms and ammunition, while 
you may have the assurance we shall be ready on any invasion 
within the county of Jefferson, at a moment's warning to defend 
the same. The above men met at the house of John Alger, on 
the 16th inst., and may be considered as Silver Grays, that is 
men who are exempted by law from military duty. We wish 
you, sir, to forward the arms to this place as soon as possible, 
and be assured we are, with respect, your humble servants." 

Joseph Wilcox, Capt,; Jas. Perry, Lt.; E. Brown, Jr., Ens. 

. This company frequently met for review and exercise, and on 
the occasion of the attack upon Sackets Harbor, marched for the 
scene of the engagement, but not in time to take part in it 

The town is elevated, very uneven, and underlaid by shales, 
which occur here so finely developed, that the term Lorraine 
Shales has been applied to the formation. Being composed of 
alternate hard and soft strata, that yield with great facility to 
the disintegrating agencies of frost, atmospheric action, and run- 
ning water, the streams that traverse the town have worn deep 
gulfs, in most places impassable, and causing great inconvenience 
in the location of roads and building of bridged. To the lover 
of nature, the quiet grandeur and ever-changing beauty of these 
romantic chasms, afford attractions, that will repay the labor of a 
visit The gulf on the south branch of Sandy Creek, is perhaps 
as deserving of notice as any in town. Its depth varies from one 
to two hundred feet, and its breadth from four to ten rods. The 
bottom, and in many ])laces the sides, are overgrown with tim- 
ber, and the stream wanders alternately from right to left, afford- 
ing wherever it washes the base, a cliflf, nearly vertical precipices, 
and of imposing grandeur. As the visitor follows the sinuous 
channel which the stream, through a long lapse of ages has quietly 
wrought deep into the bowels of the earth, the scenery constantly 
changes, affording an endless succession of beauties. Were it 
not for the gentle murmur of the brook, and the occasional trick- 

*Thi6 was the black oxyde of manganese, common in this stction ia. 
swamps — F. B. H. 

ling of the tiny stream down the mos^ precipice to break the 
stilJness of the scene, the beautiful stanza of Beattie, would be 
admirably appropriate: 

'* Thy shades, thy silence, now be min^. 

Thy charms my only theme, 

My haufit the hollow cliff, whose pine 

Waves o'er the gloomy stream. 

Whence the scared owl, with pinions gray, 

Breaks from the rustling boughs, 

And down the lone vale sails away, 

To more profound repose." 

The Rural Cemetery Association of the village of Lorraine, 
was formed Jan. 8, 1852, by John boyden, Aarori Brown, John 
Bentley, Eben Brown, Knapp Macumber, Joseph Grimshaw, 
Allen Pitkin, Lorenzo Reed, John Hancock, Moses Brown, Elihu 
Gillet, Augustus L. Baker, Sardis Abbey, Peter Hanson, Leonard 
A. Parker, Joel Buel, Luther Lanfear, Parley Brown. The 
association is managed by nine trustees. 

Religious Societies. — ^The Baptist Church of Lorraine was 
formed in 1806, of thirteen members, under the Rev. Amos 
Lamson, who was ordained Oct 7.*l806, and was succeeded in 
1815, by Solomon Johnson. In 1819 Benjamin W. Capron was 
employed, and in May 1824, Parley Brown was ordained, and 
labored until 1830, when he was succeeded by John F. Bishop, 
who labored one year. Charles B. Taylor was next employed 
three years. In 1838, Henry Ward commenced preaching here, 
was ordained Feb. 1837, and remained^ three years. In 1840 
Elisha Robbins was employed, and in one year aHer, Luther 
Humphrey, who in July, 1842 was ordained, and continued three 
years. In 1845, 0. L. Crittenden commenced and labored one year. 
In 1850, J. F. Bishop, in 1852, Philander Persons, the present 
pastor, was employed. 

Id 1830, a church edifice was built, at a cost of $1,200. The 
society had been formed Dec. 23, 1829, with Aaron Brown, Jr., 
John Fassett, Benjamin Fletcher, Jr., and James Gifibrd, Jr., 
trustees. A small Baptist Church, in the south part of the town, 
has since been united with the church in Mannsville. 

The First Congregational Society in Lorraine was formed 
Dec. 3, 1829, with Silas Lyman, Wm. Carruth, and Alfred Webb, 
trustees. A small church was erected in 1830, which has since 
been sold to the Methodists. 


By an act of March 6, 1818, the town of Lyme was erected 
from Brownville, embracing the present towns of Lyme and Cape 
Vincent, adjacent islands, and so much of Clayton, as lies west of 
Penet's Square. The first town meeting was directed to be held 

SOO Lyme. 

at the house of Luther Britton. The name was selected by Eber 
Kelsey, the pioneer of Cape Vincent, originally from Lyme, Ct 

At the first town meeting, March 3, 18 18, the following town 
officers were elected. Richard M. Esselstyn, supervisor; John 
Dayan, clerk; John 6. Esselstyn, Luther firitton, and Benj. Estis^ 
assessors; R. M. Esselstyn, James M. Craw, and Benj. T. Bliss, 
commissioners schools; J. B. Esselstyn, L. Britton, overseers of 
the poor; John M. Tremper, Eber Kelsey, and Thadeus Smithi 
fence viewers and pound masters; Elnathan Judd, John Dayan, 
and Joseph Rider, commimoner^Aig'Away^y Alex'r Gage, Daniel 
Robbins, constables. 

Supervisors,— I8l8-22y Richard M. Esselstyn; 1823, John B. 
Esselstyn; 1824, Willard Ainsworth; at a special meeting in 
Sept., J. B. Esselstyn; 1825-32, Willard Ainsworth; 1833, Otis 
P. Starkey; 1834-35, Jere Carrier; 1836, Minot Ingalls; 1837, 
Isaac Wells; 1838, Philip P. Gaige; 1839, Roswell T. Lee; 
1840, P. P. Gaige; 1841, Timothy Dewey; 1842, Wm. Carlisle; 
1843, Alexander Copely; 1844, Wm. 0. Howard; 1845, Theo- 
philus Peugnet; 1846-47, Isaac Wells; 1848, A. Copley; 1849, 
P. P. Gaige; 1850, Henry CI ine; 1851, Ezra B. Easterly; 1852, 
David Ryder; 1853, Wm. Carlisle. 

In 1S22, a bounty of $15 was offered for wolves, and $10 for 
their whelps. From 1824 to 1849 inclusive, the town has voted 
a school tax of double the sum received of the state, except 
1830, 31, when it was equal. A poor tax of $100 was voted la 
1818, 20, 21, 23, 33, 34; of $150 in 1819; of $200 in 1825; 
of $300 in 1848; of $350, at a special meeting Oct. 11, 1847; 
total poor tax $1,600. A tax for roads and bridges of from $100 
to $300 has been often voted, amounting in the 11 years, in 
which taxes were laid for this purpose, to $2,400. 

The first settlement ip Lyme, was commenced by Jonas Smith, 
and Henry A. Delamater, agents of Le Ray, from Ulster Co., 
with several men, among whom were Richard M. Esselstyn. 
T. Wheeler, Peter Pratt, James, David and Timothy Soper, and 
a few others, who in the spring of 1801, came in a boat by way of 
OsWego, with a few goods, entered Chaumont Bay,* and, by di- 
rection of Le Ray, ascended Chaumont River two and a half 
miles, and on the north bank commenced a settlement, built a 
double log house for a store and dwelling, and a frame building. 
There is said to have been an Indian trail and portage from the 
head of boat navigation, a short distance above this, to French 
Creek (about six miles), which was easily traced, when the 

* On old maps called Niahour6, Niaoenre, Niaoure, Nivernoit, ^c, tnd it 
•ometimes on old maps named Hungry Bay. Both terms were used to designate 
all within Point Peninsula and Stony Point. It was probably yarned ia hoaor 
of the Dukg tU Nivemcu, a French nobleman. 




cooniry was first settled. The colony returned to winter, and the 
next spring came on to continue improvements, but finding their 
location inconvenient, and especially liable to sickness, from the 
malarious emanations of the stagnant stream, they were compelled 
to abandon it. Early in 1803, they established themselves at the 
present village of Chaumont, which the same season was surveyed 
into a town plat. Smith and Delamater built in 1S03 a saw mill, 
on the site of A. Copley's mill, and Samuel Britton opened a 
tavern in a log house, and a ware house was erected. Several 
families now for the first time located for permanent settlement, 
mostly from Ulster County, among whom were several mechanics, 
and young men without families, and deserters from Kin8:ston. 
The settlement for a year or two prospered, but in 1806, Smith 
and Delamater failed in business, the settlers were greatly reduced 
by lake fevers, several died, and the growth of the place was 
checked. In 1805 a small vessel had been begun by — Jacobs, of 
New York, who died before it was finished. The first death had 
been that of T. Soper, who was drowned in 1802. A school 
had first been begun by Nancy Smith, in the summer of 1805, 
south of the bay, in the house of Jonas Smith. 

In 1802, Delamater cleared the first land on Point Salubrious, 
on a farm now owned by Harry Horton, who settled here in 
1810. The first settler on the point was James Horton from 
Colchester, Delaware County, in 180G, and its delightful and 
healthy situation, with the importance of the fisheries on its 
shores, soon led it to be occupied. The sickness resulting at 
an early period from the noxious miasmas of Chaumont River, 
did not extend to this place, which suggested its present name, 
first applied by Mr. Le Ray. , 

In 1805, i3aniel and John Tremper, from Ulster County, 
settled on Point Salubrious, and Henry Thomas had located at 
the village of Chaumont with a store of goods. David and 
Joseph Kider, Silas Taft, Stephen Fisher, and others, were 
early settlers on Point Salubrious. 

From the extreme badness of the roads, the settlers of Chau- 
mont were obliged to depend upon a water communication with 
other places. Milling was for some years procured at Sackets 
Harbor, and the difficulty of passing Pillar Point in rough 
weather was so great, that small boats were sometimes delayed 
a week. A case of this kind occurred in 1807, when a small 

party in an open boat got thus blockaded, which occasioned 

much distress. 
The first Fourth of July celebration in the county, is said to 

have come off at Chaumont in 1802, at which from one to two 

hundred mastered. The proceedings have not been recorded, 

'^er than that there was no lack of food or drink, and proba* 


203 Lyme. 

biy there was no less intemperance and disorder than has since 
disgraced similar occasions. The exercises were probably not 
dissimilar from the following that occurred in Lewis County at 
about the same period, as described by one present. ^' The dawD 
was ushered in by a discharge of powder from a hole drilled in 
the rock, and the firing of muskets at the scattered huts of the 
settlers, and the inhabitants, one by one, at an early hour as- 
sembled at the appointed place to honor the day by a celebratiofu 
Here in a shanty had been set a table of rough boards, on which 
was placed a number of glasses, a cake of maple sugar, a pail 
of water, and a ju^ of rum; and a fife and snare drum had been 
provided for the double purpose of awakening patriotism by 
recalling the memories of the olden time, and of drowning the 
discordant noises that the ardent stimulus might occasion. As 
most of the old men had been soldiers in the revolution, they 
rehearsed by turn their stories of the war, and fought over the 
battles of their youth; the middle aged and young joined id 
wrestling and other athletic games, and towards nightfall the 
company dispersed for their homes. We are not informed how 
many could the next day give a clear account of how they 
arrived there.** 

At the occurrence of the war there were less than a dozen 
families in the settlement; Luther Britton was keeping an ino 
north of the bay, but with the exception of these few the coun- 
try north and west, to near the St. Lawrence, with but few ex- 
ceptions, was an unbroken wilderness. In June, 1812, with the 
advice of General Brown, the inhabitants begun to build a block 
house, on the north shore of the bay, in front of the stone house 
of F. CofiTeen, which had been commenced in 1806, but was 
unfinished. During the summer the place was visited by the 
British, and their fort was demolished by the inhabitants, un- 
der an assurance that in this case their property should be re- 
spected. An iron cannon had been found on the isthmus of 
Point Peninsula, which Jonas Smith had purchased for two gal- 
lons of rum. Mr. Camp, of Sackets Harbor, subsequently pur* 
chased it for $8, and finally succeeded in getting it, after one 
or two attempts. It was afterwards taken to Ogdensburgh, and 
finally captured by the British. 

In 1818, Musgrove Evans, who had for several years beoi 
engaged in surveying for Le Kay, came on as an agent, and 
with him settled quite a number of Quaker families from Phila- 
delphia, who gave a new impulse to the place, but finding it 
sickly, and it not meeting their expectations, they mostly emi- 
grated. In 1823, Evans removed to Michigan, and founded the 
town of Tecumseh. As the country gradually became cleared, 
the sicknesss ceased, and since 1828 (which was remarkable 

Lyme. 203 

for malignant fevers), the district has enjoyed exemption from 
these evils. In 1803, a state road was laid out from Brovvnville 
to Putnam's Ferry, through the town, and on the 31st of March, 
1815, an abt was passed authorizing James Le Ray de Chau- 
mont to build a turnpike from Cape Vincent to Perch river, at 
or near where the ^tate road crossed the same, in the town of 
Brownville. The road was to be surveyed and laid out under 
the direction of Elisha Camp, Musgrove Evans, and Robert Mc- 
Dowell, or any two of them, and nothing in the act was to be 
construed so as to oblige Mr. Le Ray to build a bridge over 
Chaumont river. 

By an act of April 12, 1816, Mr. Le Ray was authorized to 
extend the road to the village of Brownville, the same commis- 
sioners being appointed as before. A turnpike was accordingly 
built, the crossing at Chaumont being by a ferry, until 1823, 
when Vincent Le Ray, and associates, procured an act (March 
12th), authorizing the erection of a toll bridge, which was to 
be at least sixteen feet wide; built in a substantial and 
workmaplike manner, and provided with a draw, to allow the 
passage of vessels. The proprietors were not to prevent the 
crossing of the stream on the ice in winter, and were to keep 
a free and open |)assage to the river, within five rods from the 
bridge, and at least one rod wide. The bridge was to be com- 
pleted before December, 1824, and if damaged by floods, or 
otherwise, it was to be rebuilt by the proprietors, i he act au- 
thorizing the bridge having expired, the period- was extended 
twenty years, by an act passed May 6, 1835. This work having 
reverted to the state, by reason of the parties in the two acts last 
cited, not having complied with their provisions, an act was 
passed April 11, 1849, authorizing the commissioners of high- 
ways of the town of Lyme, to borrow on the ciedit of the town, 
a sum of money not exceeding $5000, for the purpose of rebuild- 
ing the bridge, which had become impassable. The supervisors 
were directed to tax the town of Lyme, then including Cape 
Vincent, for the means to repay this loan, in five annual instal- 
ments. The comptroller was authorized to loan a sum not ex- 
ceeding $6000, for this purpose, out of the capital of the com- 
mon school fund, upon application of the supervisor and com- 
missioners of highways ot the town, and the commissioners of 
the land office were directed to release whatever interest the state 
might have in consequence of the reversion. 

With the means thus acquired, an elegant and permanent 
stone bridge has been erected, being mostly a solid pier, with a 
draw to allow the passage of vessels. The turnpike was kept 
tip until an act was procured, April 21, 1831, authorizing Mr. 
U Ray to surrender it to the public, and directing it to be laid 
OQt into road districts. 

f04 Lym^- 

Cbaumont Village, in July, 1853, contained fifly dwelling!^ 
five stores, several shops and warehouses, four saw mills (two 
driven by steato), a grist mill, rail road depot, and two acnool 
houses, Prsebyterian church, &c. It is quite scattered, the for- 
mer business portion near the north side, at the landing, having 
decreased, while that near the depot has grown since the com- 
pletion of the rail road. 

The village of Three Mile Bay^ situated on the old turnpike, 
three miles west from Cbaumont, began to increase about 1836, 
and at present contains about seventy dwellings, five stores, two 
taverns, three warehouses, and wharves, two churches, and the 
usual variety of mechanics. It is situated about a mile south of 
thedepotof this name, on the W. and K. Railroad, and since the 
completion of this road, has diminished rather than increased in 
business. The village extends about half a mile along the turn* 
pike, west of Three Mile Creek, a tributary of Cbaumont Bay. 

Three Mile Bay has been a station of some importance for 
ship building. Since 1835, the following vessels, all schooners, 
unless otherwise designated, have been launched at the yard of 
Asa Wilcox, whose tonnage, in the aggregate, amounted to 
6,410^ J tons. They mostly varied from 112 to 395 tons, the 
latter being nearly the capacity of the locks on the Welland 

1835, Florida, Elon Bronson. 

1836, Pennsylvania, Kentucky. 

1837, Missouri. 1838, Patriot. 

1841, Asa Wilcox, Havanna. 

1842, D. D. Calvin, Rocky Mountains. 

1843, Cambridge, Empire (brig), Neptune. 

1844, Cuba, Oregon, Ontario (brig). 

1845, Milan, Hampton (brig). 

1846, Clifton (propeller), Champion, Iroquois (brig), Rio 

1847, Palmetto, Seminole, Portland, Acadia, H. R. Seymour 


1848, Saxton, Ocean (brigs). 1849, D. J. Schuyler. 
1852, Melrose. 1853, Hungarian (three-master). 

Besides these, several club boats for regettas have been built, 
from thirty-two to fifty feet long, some of which have repeatedly 
won prizes. The Star, Wave and Banner, are names of three of 
these prize boats. In 1836, Mr. Wilcox built the CongreUf 140 
tons, on Pillar Point 

In 1832, S. Howard built the JVctr York, 80 tons, on Point 
Peninsula. In 1834, G. C. Rand, built at the same place the 
Wm. Buckley^ 112 tons; in 1836, the Bancroft, 112 tons, and 
in 1837, the 6. C. Rand, of 112 tons. In 1843, Schuyler & 

Lyme. Ml 

Powers bailt at Three Mile Bay, the Col. Povoert^ 80 tons, and 
Wm. Combs, the BogaH, 80 tons. In 1844-45, £. Cline, at the 
tame place, The Rushy 60 tons, and Peter Estes, the Breeze, 100 

The following vessels have been built at Chaumont: 1832, by 
Wm. Clark, the Stephen Girardy 60 tons; by Robert Masters, 
in 1835, the Mleghan, 100 tons; by S. & A. Davis, in 1839, 
the R. C. Smeadj 75 tons; and by Copeley & Main, the follow- 
ing: In 1847, the flip Van Winkle, 235 tons; in 1848, the Ox- 
fordy 244 tons, Palmyra^ 180 tons; in 1851, the A. L. Hazleton, 
330 tons. . 

Near Chaumont Bay, are important stone quarries, where in 
1825-26, in 1837-40, and in 1851-53, vast quantities have been 
taken to Oswego, for canal locks and piers, and to that and other 
places for building. The quarries occur in the strata correspond- 
11^ with the Isle la Motte marble of geologists, and the stone is 
broken by driving wedges into holes drilled in lines along the 
surface about six inches apart But little powder is used, and 
this principally in breaking up the superficial mass to get to the 
iolid, even-bedded layers, which alone are used. These blocks 
are usually dressed upon the ground, to the desired form, and 
loaded upon vessels at wharves, constructed for the purpose, ad- 
jacent to the quarries. ThesQ operations employ the labor of 
from one to two hundred men, of whom those employed in break- 
ing the blocks from the quarry are paid by the day, and those in 
cutting, by the foot. The stone is sold at 25 cents per cubic 
yard in the quarry. 

The fisheries of Chaumont Bay, have afforded, from an early 
period, a leading pursuit for man)' persons living in the vicinity, 
and have been productive of much benefit to the locality and the 
public generally. The earliest enactment relating to this branch 
of industry commences with the century. It having been repre- 
sented that people from Canada, and other places, were doing 
injustice to the fisheries at the east end of Lake Ontario, by ob- 
stmcting the rivers and streams by seines, a law was passed 
March ^th, 1800, prohibiting the placing of obstructions to 
the passage of fish, under a penalty of $25. This was probably 
tnm representations of citizens in Ellisburgh as this was then 
without inhabitants. 

Iq 1808, fishing with scoop nets, called here scaff nets begun, 
Wtd has been more or less constantly practiced since. This net 
k about 12 feet square, stretched by two long bows crossing 
eich other, and let down horizontally into the water, being 
Wlanced on a long poll poised on a post on the banks. When 
til pass over it, the net is suddenly raised and swung round on 
tlie bank« Sometimes 3G0 fish or more are thus caught iii i 

S06 Lyme. 

eight. Seine* were soon after introduced, the first one beinp 
brought from the Hudson by Daniel Tremper. These seines are 
from 10 to 100 rods long, from 20 to 100 feet broad, wider in 
the middle, and narrower at the ends, where they are attached 
to rods called jack stakes. To the cords along one side are 
attached floats^ and to the other leaden sinkers^ and to each 
staff is fixed a long rope. When used, the seine is taken out in 
a boat one rope being left on shore, and when a few rods out it 
is allowed to run off in a wide circuit, until it is all off, when 
the other line is taken ashore, and both ends are drawn in by 
windlasses erected for the purpose, and turned by hand, or more 
recently sometimes by horse power. The meshes of the net 
which are from 1 to 1^ inches square, allow the smaller fish to 
escape, while the larger ones are scooped out when the seine is 
drawn into shallow water. From 1 to 3 hours are occupied ia 
drawing the seine, and the products of a haul vary from to 75 
barrels, the average being 6 or 7. These seine fisheries are 
mostly around Point Salubrious, but other places inside of the 
bay are found eligible to a less extent. They are considered the 
property of those who own the adjacent lands, and the seines 
are owned, and labor done, by the resident farmers, assisted by 
laborers who come in from adjacent towns for the purpose. The 
principal fish caught for market are lake herring, locally known 
as ciscoes and white fish, and the season for taking them usually 
begins about the first of November, and continues three or four 
weeks. This is the spawning season for these fish, and the shores 
are then lined with immense quantities of their ova. Seines are 
drawn by preference in the evening, or night. No positive data 
can be obtained showing the average or aggregate quantity 
taken, but the opinion of those most acquainted with the busi- 
ness is, that since 1816 about 10,000 barrels of herring and 
white fish have been caught annually. Seasons vary in the 
abundance of fish; it is observed that the best yields occur in 
high water. Of late years, the yield is less then formerly, which 
is attributed to the use of gill 7iets, and the mixture of saw 
dust and other matters in the water. Gill nets have been intro- 
duced since 1845, are from five to eight feet (about fifty meshes) 
wide, from ten to fifteen rods long, uniform in width, and fur- 
nished with staves at the ends. These are provided with sinkers 
on the lower and floats on the upper side, and connected together 
form lines several hundred rods long. When in use they lay 
near the bottom, and their places are indicated by buoys. Once 
daily they are drawn up, and the fish removed, which sometimes 
amount to a barrel in ten rods. As the fish become entangled by 
their gills, respiration ceases, and they are almost invariably 
found drownedf for which reason they are justly considered L 

Lyme* SOT 

rior for food, and more liable to spoil when put up for sale. 
These nets are generally set in November. 

A small business is done early in spring, in fishing for pike in 
seines, gill nets, and by spearing, and the shores and coves of 
Chaumont Bay have long been the favorite resort for the disciples 
of Izaak Walton, who at most seasons find an ample and inviting 
field for the use of the trolling line and the speai ; a romantic 
cruise by torch light, and inducements to lounge away the lazy 
hours of day light, with reasonable hopes of a nibble. Pike, 

tickerel, muskelunge, perch, bass and sunfish, are caught readily 
y the hook, and the former at all seasons. The seines used 
here, are generally made on the spot, of linen or cotton twinet 
and co5t from $100 to $300. 

In 1818, April 15, a law was passed requiring all fish barreled 
for sale in the county to be inspected and branded; and the size 
of barrels and quantity of salt to be used were prescribed. In 
1823, April 23, another law relating to this subject was passed; 
March 8, 1830, an additional inspector was appointed, and April 
15, 1835, the inspection offish was discontinued. Calvin Lin- 
cola was appointed inspector June 11, 1817; M. Evans, March 
19, 1818; Benjamin T. Bliss, on Point Salubrious afterwards. 
The early laws were disregarded, but the latter strictly enforced; 
yet the restriction was always considered odious by the fishermen, 
who sought many ways of evasion and finally procured their re- 

Religious Societies. — ^The first church in town was formed on 
Fbint Salubrious, by Elder Joseph Maltby, of the Baptist order, 
September 25, 1816. Delegates from two churches in Brown- 
Tille, and Rutland; and one from Rodman, Le Ray, Lorraine, 
Henderson, Watertown, were present and twenty-six persons 
united. The Rev. Messrs. Thomas Morgan, A. Lawton, John 
J. Whitman, R. T, Smith, L. Rice, and B. C. Crandall, have 
been successively employed. The First Baptist Church and Soci- 
ety was formed March 6, 1839, with Nathaniel Welb, Richard 
Guile, Charles Wilcox, Henry Powers, Epenetus Cline, Isaac 
Wells, and Roswell Herrick, truistees. This Society built the 
following year, at Three Mile Bay, a church at a cost of $1800. 

A Free Communion Baptist Church was formed at Three Mile 
Bay about 1827, by Elder Amasa Dodge, but the records 'could 
not be found. 

On the 6th of July, 1841, ten members, being the greater por- 
tion, formed a Free Will Baptist Church under Elder Amasa 
Dodge, since whom Elders Overocker, McKoon, Padding, Hart, 
Griffith, and Abbey, have been more or less constantly employed. 
A society was formed December 18, 1843, with Charles Leonard^ 
ftnfiis H. Bartlett, Henry Leonard, William Northrup, and Charlea 

908 Orleam. 

Caswell, trustees. A church was built in 1844, costing abont 
$1,000. Present number twenty-six. 

The Peninsula Baptist Church was formed about 1834, aod 
has^ never reported but twice to the association; it numbered 
about eighteen. 

The First Universal ist Society of Chaumont was formed Sep- 
tember 8, 1850, with David Bowman, Elijah Graves, and Andrew 
Inman, trustees. 

A Presbyterian Church was organized at Chaumont, Aug. 31, 
1831, by the Rev. John Sessions and the Rev. G. S.Boardman, act- 
ing as a committee from the Presbytery of Watertown. It consisted 
of 18 members, 4 males and 14 females. Meetings for reading 
sermons, conference and prayer, were maintained, under the di- 
rection of Solon Massey, one of the elders, but they had no 
stated preaching until the summer of 1839, when for a few months 
Rev. Samuel W. Leonard was employed for alternate sabbaths. 
In the summer of 1841, Rev. Wm. Chittenden was employed for 
a few months in the same manner. The present pastor, the Rev. 
J. A. Canfield, commenced his labors on the first sabbath in 
September, 1842, preaching on alternate sabbaths, till the fall 
of 1847; since that period his whole time has been devoted 
to this church. A society was formed March 20, 1844, will 
Philip Beasom, Ozias Bauder, and Jeremiah Bennet, trustees, 
who erected for $1500 their present house of worship, whiofa 
was dedicated on the 18th of September, 1845, and their present 
and only pastor was ordained and installed at the same time* 
There is connected with the society a flourishing sabbath school, 
of about 140 scholars, and a library of 410 volumes. 

A Methodist class was formed at Chaumont, Dec. 13, 1839, d 
19 members. Meetings are held at a school house. 


This town was erected from Brownville, April 3, 1821, em- 
bracing Penet's Square, and all north of this and west of a 
continuation of the line between lots No. 6 and 7 of Penefi 
Square to the St. Lawrence. The first town meeting was directed 
to be held at the house of Hervey Boutwell. Much difficulty and 
strife had existed for several years, with regard to the location 
of the town meetings in Brownville, that led to the erection oi 
Orleans, which name was suggested by the celebrity which Hem 
Orleans had acquired at the close of the war. Alexandria and 
Philadelphia were formed by the same act 

Supervisors.— 1822-23, Amos Reed ; 1824-26, Wm. H. Angel; 
1827, Woodbridge C. George; 1828, Jesse S. Woodward (foui 
years could not be procured). 1833, Chesterfield Persons, at i 
special meeting; 1834, Wm. Martin; 1835, .Peter Dillenbacki 

Orleans. 209 

1836, C. Persons; 1837, Daniel C. Rouse; 1838-59, John B. 
Collins; 1840, C. Persons; 1841, Peter P. Folts; 1842, James 
Green; 1843, Edmund M. Eldridge; 1844, Abram J. Smith; 
1845, Loren Bushnell; 1846, A. J. Smith; 1847, D. C. Rouse; 
1848-9, John N. Rottiers; 1850-53, Hiram Dewey. 

By an act of Feb. 6, 1840, all that part of Clayton, north of Or- 
leans, and east of the north and south division line, between Clayton 
and Orleans, extended from the north-west corner of Orleans to 
the St. Lawrence, was attached to the latter town, together with 
part of Wells Island, and all the smaller islands, which would 
be embraced by a line, running from the termination of the afore- 
said divisioniine, between Clayton and Orleans; thence through 
Eel Bay around the head of Wells Island to the Canada line. 
All that part of Alexandria, west of a line running N. 42° W., 
from the corner of Orleans, was also annexed to the latter town. 
This last was restored to Alexandria, April 12, J842. 

Improvements commenced in this town about 1806, by persons 
who came on, without acquiring title, and took up lands, there 
beings no resident agent, and a partial and imperfect history of 
the title having gained currency, the belief became general, that 
there was no legal owner of the tract, which, for several years 
after the war, led great numbers, chiefly of the poorer classes, to 
come and select land and make locations. In this they were 
governed by nothing but their own choice, selecting some spring 
or stream of water for the vicinity of their dwellings, and ap- 
propriating such lands to their own use, as they might choose to 
claim. These squatters had adopted a kind of regulation among 
themselves, in relation to lands, were accustomed to make "po^ 
session lines,^^ by lopping down bushes, and bought and sold 
" claimSy^ giving quit claim deeds for the same. Few permanent 
buildings or improvements were made, the settlers mostly living 
in log huts, and engaged in getting out oak staves and square 
timber, and in making potash or in cultivating the soil in the 
most slovenly and careless manner. As a natural consequence, 
this unprincipeled course invited thither crowds of adventurers 
from various quarters, many from the Mohawk Country; rough, 
hardy, and enterprising, with nothing to lose and every thing to 
gain, accustomed to coarse fare and rude accommodations, yet in 
many respects just the class to subdue a wilderness. Schools 
were established, a few years after settlement, and religious 
societies were organized. 

An account of the legal titles of this tract has been given, but * 
there were sundry proceedings under false constructions and 
erroneous statements that deserve mention. Penet's Indian claim 
was recognized in the treaty of September 22, 1788, and on the 
19th of November, 1789, a patent was issued to bis attorney, 

210 Orleata. 

John Duncan, of Schenectady, and it was subsequently conveyed 
repeatedly, as stated elsewhere. In 1807, John Wilkes, one of 
the proprietors, visited the tract, and is believed to have been the 
first of the owners who traversed it. Being unaccustomed to the 
fatigue of traveling in the forest, he returned home disgusted 
with it, and for sevttral years there was no legalized agent in the 
county. In 1817 (Oct>17), the following settlers took contracts 
on lots numbers 66, 75, 86, 87, and 95, near Stone Mills, in 
which vicinity A. M. Prevost held lands, and had appointed 
Elisha Camp, of Sackets Harbor, as his agent. The contracts 
run for seven years, and the lands were rated at $5 per acre. 
Asa Hall, Richard Taylor, Frederick Avery, Benjamin and John 
Taylor, Wm. Collins, Samuel Linnel, Solomon Stowell, Lester 
White, Roderick C. Fraser, Wm. Collins, Jr., Leonard and Blake 
Baldwin, Isaac Mitchel, John B. Collins, John Smith, Ebenezer 
Eddy, Shepherd Lee, Thomas Lee, Thomas Lee, Jr., Ebenezer 
Scoville, Wm. Guile, Wm. Larrabe, Warren Hall, Henry Arnold, 
Ambrose Adams and John Page. 

In 1818, there prevailed in many sections of the state, especially 
on the Holland Purchase, a clamor against those who held large 
tracts of land, and the records of towns in adjoining counties, 
show a disposition to impose heavy taxes upon non resident 
lands for local or private purposes. The Holland Company 
through fear of these intrigues, was induced to offer their lands 
to the state, as well as to sell them at low prices, and on long 
credits. Doubts had arisen of the soundness of the title derived 
from Penet, and January 16, 1821, Hippolyte Penet, brother of 
Peter Penet, of Andes, Delaware County, N. Y., sold to John S. 
Le Tonelier, of Schenectady, for $ 1, by quit claim, the whole tract. 
A suit in chancery was instituted, and this deed set aside and 
made void by a decretal order of the chancellor, Samuel Jones, 
dated August 2,' 1828* The uncertainty which these conflicting 
claims created in the minds of settlers, led them, about 1821, to 
petition the legislature for a direct grant of these lands from the 
state, which was referred to a select committee who reported the 
evidence of title, as shown by the records in the secretary's 
office and continued: '^ Your committee have also had exhibited 
what purports to be a copy of a deed executed on the 13th of 
July, 1790, by John Duncan, as the attorney of Peter Penet, to 
James Watson and James Greenleaf, witnessed by John Plant, 
but not proved or recorded, by which the tract of ten miles square 
is conveyed for the consideration of j£1600. There are various 
claims, many of them conflicting, under the last mentioned deed, 
which it was not necessary for your committee to investigate. 
From the statement they have given, they think great doubt arises 

• /•ITertoa Dfesdi P, fif« tOS. 

Orleans. 211 

whether Penet ever legally conveyed the land in question. He 
was a native of France, and died in that country, and if he left 
heirs they must be aliens, although your committee can not learn 
that he was ever married. Under all these circumstances your 
committee are of opinion that there are sufficient reasons in this 
case to justiiy iurther inquiry to ascertain whether the land has 
not escheated to this state, and they reconuuend the following 
resolution : 

Resolvedy if the honorable the senate concur herein, that the 
attorney-general be directed to investigate the title to the ten 
miles square of land granted to Peter Penet, and to institute pro- 
ceeedings to ascertain whether the same has escheated to this 

The attorney-general made the following report: 

" The attorney-general, to whom was referred the petition of 
a number of the inhabitants of that part of the town of Brownville, 
in the county of Jefferson, called Penet's jSquare, respectfully 

That the petitioners state that the tract of land called Penet's 
Square is situate in great lot No. IV, of Mac( mb's Purchase, 
and contains 64,000 acres. That the title to these lands is * to 
the public generally, and to the petitioners in particular, alto- 
gether uncertain,' and that there are on the said tract about 320 
families, or those * who have been induced to take contracts of 
the pretended agents of pretended proprietors;' and that great 
improvements have been made on the same tract of land, and 
that the inhabitants of the same tract are very solicitous to as- 
certain the real title to the same. The petitioners therefore pray, 
Isty that some resolution or law may be passed that shall force 
those who lay claim to said tract of land, to put the evidence 
of their title on the records of the county of Jefferson, and 2(/, 
that the surveyor-general, or the commissioners of the land of- 
fice, may be directed to report ' such information as they may 
possess, relative to the title of the said lands.' As to the first 
request of the petitioners, it is presumed that it is not expected 
of the attorney-general that he should give any opinion as to the 
propriety or expediency of granting it, but as to the second, the 
attorney-general has no means of ascertaining the true title to 
the land in question, any further than what may be derived from 
an examination of all records in the office of the secretary of 
state. The attorney-general finds in such examination that the 
taid tract called Penet's Square is not, as the petitioners express, 
a part of Macomb's Purchase, but a separate tract, granted by 
the state to Peter Penet, by letters patent, dated the 19th of No- 
vember, 1789, and the whole of said tract, except 21,000, ap- 
pears to have been conveyed by the said Penet to one John Dud- 

212 Orleam. 

can, formerly of Schenectady. How the title to the above lands 
have been subsequently conveyed, or whether the same remains 
with the said Duncan, or his heirs, the attorney-general ha8 no 
means of ascertaining. 

All of which is respectfulty submitted. 

Thomas C. Oakley, Jlttomey General.^* 

We have been unable to learn the result of these investiga- 

A considerable portion of Penet's Square had become the pro- 
perty of John La Farge, who had been engaged in the firm of 
Russell & La Farge, as a merchant in Havre, and in the course 
of his business had purchased a portion of these lands. He sub- 
sequently resided several years in New Orleans, and about 1824 
came on to assert his title to this tract, but the settlers had, from 
the previous confusion of claims, at first but little confidence 
in his title. In 1824, a meeting was held at Stone Mills^ at 
which a committee was appointed to investigate the question, in 
order to decide what reliance might be placed in his claims. 
Mr. La Farge was of course anxious to secure public confidence, 
and cases soon occurred in which he was a^orded the opportuni- 
ty of proving his title in the trial of a suit which commenced 
as an action of ejectment, against one of the settlers, in which 
he procured witnesses from Schenectady and elsewhere, at great 

In 1826, two or three persons claiming title under Hyppolyte 
Penet, appeared at La Fargeville, called a meeting of citizens, 
and stated their claims, but with no further effect than to impair 
the confidence of some in the pretensions of others. These pro- 
ceedings ended by La Farge s directing his attorney to com- 
mence a prosecution for slandering his title. While the tract was 
a part of Brownville, but little attention had been paid to the 
taxes, and nearly the whole had been returned as non resident. 
An agreement was made May 12, 1827, between John La Farge 
and Vinal Luce, of Albany, and Philip Schuyler of Saratoga, 
in which, for $75,000, and further covenants on the part of the 
last two, La Farge agreed to sell all the real estate, contracts, 
leases and certificates mentioned in an annexed schedule, subject 
to all arrears of taxes due, or to become due, with all sales that 
had been made for such arrears of taxes, with four mortgages, 
&c.* Under this agreement these parties came on, and com- 
menced acting accordingly, but legal measures ensued not neces- 
sary to be here detailed, and William Smith of Watertown was 
appointed a receiver, to take and hold moneys paid for lands, 
until the question of rightful ownership should be decided. The 

* J«fl^rton deeds, Z, $M. 

Orleafu. 213 

lands in June, 1830, came back to La Farge, vho effected a 
settlement with Schuyler and Luce, and the lands being sold for 
taxes were conveyed to Mr. La Farge by a comptroller's deed. 
This set forever at rest the question of title, by superseding all 
that had gone before, and thenceforth settlers took contracts 
and made payments with confidence. Mr. La Farge adopted 
the system of never allowing contracts to expire, and by a course 
then called rigid by those who now warmly commend him for 
it, in a very few years settled up with the inhabitants, and con- 
veyed by deeds. The result has proved the truth of the princi- 
ple that over indulgence to settlers is but mistaken clemency, 
and that promptness in meeting payments is the only sure meth- 
od of escaping from the slavery of debt, Mr. La Farge, about 
1840, removed to New York, making Dr. John Binsse of Wa- 
tertown his agent,* and has since been extensively engaged in 
heavy financial operations. After the dethronement of Louis 
Phillippe, he was made the agent of that unfortunate prince for 
investing funds in American stocks. 

The first settlement at La Fargeville, was made without title 
by Dr. Reuben Andrus, of Vermont, who in 1819 erected a log 
mill on Cat Fish Creek in the present village. From this the 
place acquired the name of Log Mills ^ which it long retained. 
In 1820, a small store was opened and business gradually cen- 
tered at this poinL On the occasion of a Fourth of July cele- 
bration in 1823, a resolution was passed, giving the place its 
present name of La Fargeville. In 1850 it contained, according 
to the census of Mr. Rottiers, 50 dwellings, 61 families, and 312 
inhabitants, and this number has not since increased. It contains 
a Catholic, a Baptist, and a Congregational church, an academy, 
and its proportion of inns, stores, and mechanic shops. La 
Fargeville is 7 miles from Depauville; 6 from Stone M»lls; 4 J 
from Omar; 7 from Clayton; 9 from Plessis; 9 from Theresa; 12 
from Alexandria Bay; 14 from Evans' Mills; 18 from Water- 
town. Water lime was manufactured to a small extent here in 
1850, and an abundance of material adapted to the purpose 
exists in town. 

In 1838, the mansion and farm of Mr. La Farge, one mile 
south of La Fargeville, was purchased by Bishop Dubois, and a 
Catholic seminary, named St, Vincent De Paul, was opened 
under Rev. Francis Gooth and several assistants. It was de- 
signed to combine in this a theological seminary for the educa- 
tion of priests, and a classical boarding school, the more ad- 
vanced candidates for holy orders serving as teachers, during 
part of the time. Most of the boarders came from New York, 
a very few only being from the vicinity, but after a trial of two 

* 8€pt. 1, 1840, JefTenon deeds, IT. 3, p. 180. 

fit OrleanM. 

and a half years, it was found that its location was too remote, 
and Bishop Hughes, who succeeded Dubois, removed it to the 
vicinity ot New York, where St. John's College (Fordham), 
was founded soon after. The greatest number of students at La 
Fargeville was 15, and that ot persons more or less employed in 
teaching, nearly as many. 

Stone MitlSj P. O. (formerly Collins Mills, P. O.) is a hamlet 
of a dozen houses, inn, two stores, and a few shops. Penet 
Square began to be settled by squatters in this vicinity in 1806. 
The first settler was Roderick C. Frasier. In 1807, Peter Pratt 
made the second location, and soon after Benajah and Merchant 
Carter, Samuel and David Ellis, Robert Bruner and others, some 
of whom during the war removed to the denser settlements. In 
1813, a young man was taken up in the neighborhood on the 
suspicion that he was a spy, and on his attempting to escape 
was shot and mortally wounded, when he confessed that he was 
a deserter from Sackets Harbor. About 1820 a small stone grist 
mill was built by J. B. Collins and P. Piatt, which suggested 
the name of the place. A plat of one acre was here conveyed 
by I>e Rham to the town, for the site of public buildings, upon 
which in 1838 a fine stone school house was erected, and the 
year previous a Union Church of stone. 

On Mullet Creek, one and a half miles from its mouth, is a 
small village, which was formerly named from the stream, after- 
wards Mudge^s Mills, and since the establishment ot a post 
office in 1843, Omar, the latter name being taken, it is said, 
from the personage of Dr. Johnson's allegorical tale, in the 
English Reader. The first settlement in the vicinity was by 
Benjamin Tanner, al)out 1818, and in 1820 William and Treat 
Mudge erected a grist and saw mill. For many yeafs the place 
contained little else, and in 1837 it had but 6 houses. The first 
store was opened by Timothy R. Stackhouse. It now contains a 
store, inn, grist mill and saw mills, a Methodist church, a few 
shops, and about 25 families. It is on the edge of the town, 
nearly two miles north of Penet's Square, and near the line of 
Alexandria. At Fish's Landing, at the mouth of the creek, is 
a wooding station, but a place of little or no trade. Omar is 7 
miles from Clayton, 7 from Plessis, 7 from Alexandria Bay, and 
5 from La Fargeville. 

Rock Island light, opposite the mouth of Mullet Creek, waa 
erected as one of the three beacons authorized in the St. Law- 
rence, by the act of March 3, 1853,* the other two being Sunken 
Rockf near Alexandria Bay, and Cross-over Island, in Hammond. 

Religious Societies, — The Baptist Church at La Fargeville 
was formed at the house of Thomas Evans, September 9, 1821, 
of nine males and nine females by Elder Sardis Little, assisted 

PameUa. 915 

by Elder Timothy Brewster, and Elder Emory Osgood, who were 
casually present On the 12th, a council of advising brethren 
having taken into consideration the situation and facts of the 
case, received them as a gospel church, and gave them the hand 
of fellowship. The First Baptist Society was formed June 11, 
1836, with Francis Eppes, Abijah Fisher, Charles Sexton, Jo- 
tham Marshall, and Orlando W. Cushman, trustees. A church 
was built in La Fargeville, in 1837, at a cost of $3,200. The 
first Union society of Orleans, was formed May 14, 1822, with 
Peter Rhems, Simeon Meacham and Samuel Warner, trustees. A 
church was erected by this society at a cost of $3000, in 1840, 
and dedicated in the fall. 

The First Presbyterian society in Orleans was formed April 29, 
1839, with John Mason, Abram J. Smith, Thomas E. Drake, 
Amasa Jojbnson, Robert T. Jerome, trustees. A church had been 
formed in February 1823, and December 30, 1848, was changed 
to Congregational. A church was built about 1840, valued in 
the census of 1850 at $2,000. 

A Union church was erected at Stone Mills in 1837, at a cost 
of about $1800, and is owned by the Lutheran, Baptist, Method- 
ist and Christian sects, in .equal shares. A Methodist Episcopal 
church was formed at La Fargeville, September 14, 1833, with 
Wm. Hart, Anson Squires, Woodbridge C. George, S. P. Hall 
and Willard Tarble, trustees. It was organized September 14, 
1852. This denomination formed a society in Omar, January 22, 
1849, with S. P. Newton, J. C. Hardy, P. Newton, Wm. Hayes 
and H. M. Spalsbury, trustees. A Catholic church (St. Vincent 
de Paul) has been built several years at La Fargeville. An 
Evangelical Lutheran church exists in this town, which will be 
more fully noticed in our account of religious societies. 


This town derives its name from that of Mrs. Jacob Brown, 
whose maiden name was Pamelia Williams, a daughter of Cap- 
tain Jude Williams, of Williamstown^^and sister of Judge Nathan " 
Williams of Utica. The act of incorporation is dated April 12, '^^ 
1819, and the first town meeting was directed to be held at the ^'^ ^ 
school house, near Elias Wager. By an act of April 1, 1824," 
a small part of Penet's Square, south-east of Perch La Ice, was 
annexed from Orleans, which gave the town its present limits. c~ 
The act also directed the name of the town to be known, after \^ 
the first of March next, as Leander; but this clause was r^pealed^ ^ 

April 9, 1825, before the act had taken effect. This change is " ^, 
said to have been effected by a man, then in the legislature, who *^< 
lutd a son by that name. 

The first officers elected were John Stewart, supervisor; Henry 

210 Pamdim. 

Gotham, clerk; Russel Weaver, Benjamin Still, Simeon Wood- 
ruff, assessors; S. Woodruff, B. Still, overseers of the poor; 
Alfred Comins, S.Woodruff, B. Still, commissioners oj highways; 
Horace Mather, collector; Osmon Banister, Nehemiah Van Nest, 
Joseph Mayo, conpmissioners of common schools; Amos £ames, 
Will iam Usher, R. Weaver, John N. Gunn, Baker Massey, Charles 
Brown, Inspectors of schools; Jacob J. Greene, Benjamin Pease, 
Horace Mather, constables. 

Supervisors.— 1820-26, John Stewart; 1827-28, Russel Wea- 
ver; 1829-30, Gustavus A. Foster; 1831-35, Bernard Bagley; 
1836, Chillingsworth Colwell; 1837-41, B. Bagley; 1842, Wil- 
liam Wilson; 1843-45, Henderson Howk; 1846-47, Josiah 
Bonney, Jr.; 1848-49, B. Bagley; 1850, Abram M. Harger; 
1851-52, Charles D. Wright; 1863, Josiah Bonney. 

This town be^an to settle at about the same time with Le 
Ray and Brownville, being under the same ownership and 
agency. In 1799, two men by the name of Boshart, and Eitts, 
made a location three miles from W^atertown, on the farm now 
owned by George Webb; but their families becoming discon- 
tented, they returned the same fall to Lewis County, where they 
afterwards settled. Pamelia Village^ opposite the lower part 
of the village of Watertown, began to settle about 1804, upon 
the building of a bridge; and very soon after, a dam and mills 
were erected here. The place first received the name of Wil' 
liamstown, which was given it by Jacob Brown, who made 
strenuous efforts to secure the location of the public buildings of 
the county here, when he found they could not be procured at 
Brownville. This village is a place of but little business, except- 
ing its mills, distillery, &c., as, from its vicinity to Watertown, 
it is found hopeless to attract trade or business to this point. The 
same applies to the erection of churches. Its location is, how- 
ever, admirably adapted for building, and it is already beginning 
to attract the notice of those seeking eligible dwellings, and 
doing business in Watertown. Several new streets have been 
recently opened, and the place will doubtless share in the rapid 
growth which the Capital exhibits itself, and imparts to all 
around it. 

Pamelia Four Corners, on the military road, six miles from 
Watertown, and three from Evans' mills, is the centre of business 
for the country around, and is the seat of a post ofiTce. 

Juhelville, a suburb of Watertown, opposite Factory Village, 
was named from Madame Cornelia Jubel, the mother of Mrs. V. 
Le Ray. It began to assume importance after the erection of 
the upper dam, for the Hamilton Manufacturing Company in 1836. 
There are here at present two saw mills, a tannery, carriage 
factory, pump factory, &c., and a factory for making cotton yarn, 

/ t . poor- 

ev. ci ^^ 








ihaef batting, carpet warp and twine, which was erectc 
A. Anderson, in 1849. It has a population of about 300, n 
mechanics or operatives in the neighboring establishments, 
bank of the river, below the village, is cavernous and a 
several interesting grottoes. The caverns in this town, op| 
Watertown Village and adjacent to the river, possess muc 
terest to the geologist and will be fully described in a f 

An act of April, 1834, authorized a loan of $600 in Vii 
town, and $500 in Pamelia, for rebuilding bridges, to be r< 
by a tax in two equal instalments, and to be expended b 
road commissioners. On the 5th of May, in the samesessioi 
amount and propriety of these loans, if not decided at th( 
town meeting, might be expressed by a special town me< 
called for the purpose. 

The Pamelia Farmer's Scientific Library, was formed Aj 
1822, having for its first trustees John Steward, Russell Wc 
Joel Nims, Simeon Woodruff, Ansel Mills, Thomas Goodricl 
Wm. Cole. 

Religious Societies. — The Union Church in Pamelia 
formed Nov. 16, 1847, with Reuben Lock, Jacob H. ZoUer 
Peter M. Salisbury, trustees. A house of worship has 
erected by this society, two miles from Pamelia Four Come] 
the road to Brownville. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Par 
was formed Feb. 29, 1848, with James Jones, C. G. Harger, 
Groulding, Asa Barnes, Daniel Gould, Jacob Harwick, Abr 
Ogsbury, and Joseph Countryman, trustees. 


This town was erected from Le Ray, April 3, 1821, wit 
present limits; the first town meeting beinpr held at the hoi 
Harvey Hamblin. The name of Eiizabetbtown had been cl 
for this, but there being one already in the state, the presen 
was selected by citizens, who had lived in or near the ci 
Philadelphia. Some proposed to name the town Benezet, 
the benevolent Quaker of that name. Orleans and Alexa 
were created by the same act. 

The first town bfRcers were, Alden Bucklin, supervisoi 
Bucklin, Thos. Bones, Abial Shurtliff, assessors; John Strick 
Juy clerk; Wm. Bones, coWedory John Townsend, J. Strick 
it.^ poor masters; J. Townsend, Cadwallader Child, AbielS 
liflT, commissioners highways; David Mosher, J. Stricklanc 
J. Bones, commissioners schools; Wm. Bones, co/w/a6/ey J 
Bones, C. Child, J. R. Taylor, inspectors schools. There 1 
but very few inhabitants with property qualifications su£B 


218 PhUaddphia. 

for voting and holding office, an act was procured, March 29, 
1822, reducing these qualifications to the possession of a contract 
for lands, and properly or improvement worth. $ J 50; the custom- 
ary oath of officers, concerning freehold, was to be omitted. 

Supervisors. — 1822, Aiden Bucklin; 1823-26, Harvey Ham- 
blin; 1827, John R. Taylor; 1829-31, Benjamin Jackman; 1832, 
Hiram Hinman; 1833, Henry W. Marshall; 1834-36, Jesse 
Smith; 1837, Miles Strickland; 1838, Wra. Skinner; 1839, M. 
Strickland; 1840, Geo. Walton; 1841, Jesse Smith; 1842, M. 
Strickland: 1843, John F.Latimore; 1844-46, Azel W.Danforlh; 
1847, Lyman Wilson; 184S-9, Smith Bockus; 1850, Geo. Fra- 
sier; 1850-51, Wra. Skinner; 1852-53, Alden Adams. 

The circumstances of the first settlement of this town, are 
interesting from their peculiarity, and will be given more in 
detail, as they form the only instance in our local history, of an 
attempt to convey lands by leases, in perpetuity, and illustrate in 
a small way, the evils growing out of the system. 

In 1802, Jacob Brown, then residing at Brownville Village, 
as the agent of Mr. Le Ray, communicated with his former friends 
and neighbors, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware 
River and near the locality of Penn's Manor, a description of the 
country, its soil, climate, and advantages. Early in the summer 
of 1803, Joseph Child, Sen., with Moses Moon, and his son James 
Moon, came from Bucks County, explored the territory, now 
embraced in Le Ray and Philadelphia, and the former made a 
definite selection of about twelve hundred acres, immediately 
south-west of where Le Raysville now is, at which place Benjamin 
Brown and family were then residing. The favorable report 
which these pioneers carried back, induced several of their neigh- 
bors to resolve upon trying their fortunes in the "new country," 
and led the way to the formation of a company, and the following 
associated purchase. 

The lots were to be sold in sixteen shares, according to the 
number affixed to each subscriber's name, at the rate of $3 per 
acre, payable in five installments, with six per cent interest, and 
ten per cent deducted for ready pay. The lands were to be of as 
good quality as lots 629 to 632, in all 1760 acres, previously 
bought by Joseph Child, and Moses Comfort, and if they should 
not be found as good in the opinion of Jacob Brown, Jonas 
Smith, and Richard Coxe, an additional quantity was to be given. 
Le Ray agreed before the next December to make a wagon road 
from the Post Road (at Champion) through the said tract to the 
St. Lawrence. The parties purchasing were to divide the tract 
between themselves before the 25th of next April. On the 1st of May 
1804, a deed,* conveying lot No. 611, was executed to the persons 

* Oneida deeds, Book 6. p. 25, 



abore named, in trust "for the promotion of religion and learning, 
that is to say, for the purpose of erecting thereon and supporting 
a meeting house, for the society of the people called Quakers, 
and a school or schools for the education of children, in useful 
learning, to be under the care and direction of the said society, 
and of a monthly meeting of said people, when such meeting 
shall be there established, and for such other usefiil purposes, as 
the said meeting may direct.'' 

On the 16ih of February, 1804, James D. Le Ray, then liv- 
ing in Burlington, N. J., and being personally acquainted with 
several of the parties, executed an agreement with Mordecai 
Taylor,* Robert Comfort,f Thomas and John Townsend,f Abra- 
ham Stockton,! Charles Ellis,| Cadwallader Child,§ Moses 
Comfort,§ Israel Knight,t Benjamin Rowland,! John Jones, Ja- 
son Merrick,§ and David Evans, all but Merrick being Quakers, 
to sell^ixteen lots in great tract No. IV, of 440 acres each, viz: 
629, 540, 542, 543, 574, 575, 576, 578, 579, 644, 643, 647, 
646, 674, 675, 677, 678, and " for the encouragement of reli- 
gion and learning," gave to the parties above named, lot No. 
611, of 440 acres, to support a meeting house and school. 

In pursuance of the above agreement, twenty-five lots, or five 
ranges of five lots each, which lay together, in a rectangular 
tract, the central lot being at the present village of Philadelphia, 
the whole of which, with th^ water power of the place, being 
upon it. The situation 
of these lots is shown 
in the annexed plan, in 
which G is lot 611, 
given, S, the sixteen 
fots sold, and R, the 
eight lots reserved. It 
will be seen that the 
lots sold were in the 



























corners of the tract, and it was doubtless the intention of the 
proprietor to receive an advanced price on them, sufficient to 
cover the value of the central lot. 

When the bargain was completed, in May, 1804, Mordecai 
Taylor and Cadwallader Child,|| two of the purchasers, with 
Samuel Evans, came north, traveling from Albany on horse- 
back, crossing Black River near the present village of Felt's 
Mills, and Mr. Childs, by agreement wnih Le Ray, repaired to 
Brown ville to consult with Jacob Brown in respect to the sur- 

♦0! Montgomery county, Pa. tOf Philadelphia county, Pa. 

tOf Burlington, N. J. $ Of Bucks county, Pa. 

I Mr. Child was born in Plummsted, Pa., AuguPt 18, 177C-, was employed 
u teaching seven years previous to 1804; acted many years as a surveyor for 
Hr. Le B^y, and died in this town April 3, 1851. 

290 Philadelphia. 

Teys to be made for roads. With the requisite party to assist, he 
returned to Le Raysville, and from the hill north of that Tillage, 
not far from where the stone Methodist Meeting House formerly 
stood, he followed a line of lots of Brodhead's survey, to the 
south corner of the centre lot, and down Black Creek to its 
junction with Indian River, then called the West Branch of the 

It was now in the month of June. One of the purchasers, 
only, was upon the tract, with four assistants, as chainmen, axe- 
men, and packman, among whom were Michael CofTeen and 
Solomon Parker. Their first encampment was near the present 
grist mill. The first line for a road passed south-west of Theresa 
Falls, striking the St. Lawrence some distance above the present 
village of Alexandria Bay, where their provisions being ex- 
hausted, they purchased from a Canada raft that was passing a 
sufficient supply. After examining the shore, they selected the 
site for the present village at the Bay, and on their return lo- 
cated what has since been known as the Alexandria Road, 
crossing Indian River at the present lower bridge at Theresa 
Village. A road was continued to the Black River, at the Great 
Bend. The summer was mostly consumed in these surveys, and 
in the fall, with the aid of Thomas Ward and Samuel Child, Mr, 
C. Child began a clearing upon his lot (No. 644), and erected 
a cabin south of the small creek, and west of the Alexandria 
Road, the first spot cleared in town. Late in the same fall, John 
Petty began his improvements, on the opposite side of the road 
from where John T. Strickland now resides, having previously 
lived a year or two in Le Ray. The two Townsends, J. Mer- 
rick* and R. Comfort, came on the same year, or the next. Of 
the other trustees of the central lot. Knight, Taylor, M. Com- 
fort, and Rowland, came on, but did not take up their perma- 
nent residence here, and Jones, Ellis, Stockton and Evans never 
came. It was doubtless the intention of both the grantor and 
grantees, that the centre lot should be for the benefit of all who 
should at any time thereafter reside on any or all of the twenty- 
five lots. The sixteen lots subscribed were drawn by ballot, 
when each entered into an agreement by himself for the lots 

The settlers of the first year returned back to winter, and on 
the 2d of February, 1805, a meeting was held, all but four be- 
ing present, who, by a written agreement, named Robert Com- 
fort, Cadwallader Child, Thomas and John Townsend, and JasoD 
Merrick, as trustees of the lot in trust, a part of which they di- 
rected to be laid out in ten acre lots, and leased gratuitously for 
ten years, to any person who would settle and clear the same, 

* Mr. M. died in town Aagust 3, 184C, a|;ed 78. 

Philadelphia. 321 

and build a 1(^ or framed house, eighteen feet square, within 
four years. 

Daniel Coffeen settled, about 1804, near and south of the four 
corners, near Sterlingvillc, and in 1805, several of the purchas- 
ers came on, and Mr. C. Child spent the summer in surveys of 
roads and farms. During the summer he had cleared the land 
where the present residence of Alden Adams and the post office 
stand, and in the fall sold the improvement to Josiah Walton, 
who erected, on the site of the post office, a small frame barn, 
the first frame erected in town. The same spring Thomas Town- 
send came on, bringing with him Josiah Walton, Daniel Rob- 
erts, Thomas Coxe, and Thomas Gilbert, and during the summer 
erected a bridge over Indian River, about twenty-five rods below 
the present one, cleared land about the grist mill, extending up 
the river, and north of the Antwerp road, built himself a block 
house on the south side of the brick house erected by the late 
Edmund Tucker, and a log house for John Townsend, on the 
site of the Samuel Case tavern, now owned by James Kirkbride. 
T. Townsend and Gilbert returned to Pennsylvania to winter. 
John Townsend and Robert Comfort had removed with their 
families in the fall of 1805, arriving in September, and with J. 
Walton and Daniel Roberts, were the first families to remain 
through the winter at the Friend's Settlement. In the fall of 
1805, John Townsend sowed the first winter wheat. Thomas 
Townsend removed his family in the spring of 1806, accompa- 
nied by Benjamin Gilbert, Stephen Roberts and family. Robert 
Comfort built near the bank of Indian River, below Dr. Carpen- 
ter's house, and kept the first house of entertainment. 

In 1807, a fever prevailed in the settlement. Two daughters 
of Robert Comfort and a son of Jason Merrick died, being the 
first buried at the present burying ground. 

John Strickland, Junior, came on in the fall of 1807, viewed 
the country, returned south, and moved his family upon the 
farm now occupied by John Townsend. In the spring of 1808, 
Joseph Bolton and family had joined the settlement, Robert Com- 
fort removing tp his farm in 1807. In April, 1809, Ezra Comley 
moved upon the farm now occupied by Seth Strickland, and soon 
after, the same year, John Strickland, Senior, arrived, purchased 
the mills and improvements of Thomas and John Townsend. 
John moving to his own farm, Thomas purchased, built and moved 
QD the farm now o.wned by Wm. Allis. 

The first school kept at the settlement was in the chamber of 
the house of John Strickland, Senior (purchased of Thomas Town- 
leaJ), Anna Comstock, teacher. The Society of Friends erected 
their first meeting house in 1810, yet standing and occupied as 
a dwelling house. For seventeen years it served the purpose of 
Khool and meeting bouse. 

222 Philadelphia. 

As the given name of individuals, is, among the Society of 
Friends, prominently regarded, it may afibrd an interest to give 
those of the wives of the pioneer settlers of this place, the most 
of whom were of that denomination: The wife of Robert 
Comfort was Mary; of John Townsend^ Assenath; of Thomas 
Townsend, Elizabeth; of Jason Merrick, ElizabetK; of John 
Strickland, Jr., Rachel; of Ezra Comley, Sarah; of Joseph Bolton, 
Jane; of Stephen Roberts, Jane; of John Strickland, sen., JV/or- 

A feat of female visiting in this town, that occurred in the 
summer of 1806, may be worthy of record, as illustrating the 
enterprise of the age, and by way of contrast with the* present 
day. Mrs. Elizabeth and Assenath Townsend, and Mrs. Jane 
Roberts, on this occasion, their husbands being busy at their 
farms, made a visit on foot, to friends in the town of Le Ray, by 
way of the pine plains, a distance of eleven miles through a 
thick forest, and with scarcely a trace of a road, and that more 
traversed by wild beasts than human beings. A faithful dog 
was their vigilant escort in the lonely journey. In returning, they 
were conveyed in the wagon of Joseph Child, at whose bouse 
they had visited. 

Having briefly noticed a few events connected with the first 
settlement of this town, v e will return to our account of the 
centre lot, to which allusion has been made. During fifteen 
years, about a quarter of the lot had been improved, under the 
short leases. In the summer of 1815, the Le Ray Monthly 
Meeting of Friends was formed, and it early became the wish 
of the five trustees to make this meeting the assignee of their 
trust, but this could not be done without an act of incorporation, 
which they refused to apply for. On the 11th of April, 1816, 
the monthly meeting appointed a committee of six, viz: Daniel 
Child, Richard Hallock, Joel Haworth, John Strickland, Jr., 
"William Barber, and Joseph Child, Jr., to meet with and assist 
the trustees in the management of the lot, and they the same 
year reappointed four of the trustees, the fifth (Merrick) not 
being a member of their society, but continuing to act. R. Com- 
fort and T. Townsend, quit claimed to C. Child, and J. Townsend, 
June 9th, 1823,* their interest in the centre lot, and at various 
periods between October 1st, 1823, and 1838, the whole 440 
acres, had been leased out in about 40 lots, or parcels, at annual 
rents averaging less than $1 per acre forever. The society oc- 
casionally appointed committees to notice the trustees requests, 
and July 7th, 1825, named Edmund Tucker, Daniel Child, and 
J. Strickland, Jr., to procure quit claims from those named in 
the deed of Le Ray. They afterwards found that these could 

* Jeflerfoo Daadf. 

Philadelphia. 223 

not all be procured. Taylor refused to quit claim, and Stockton 
and Evans had died, leaving minor heirs. Ellis, M. Comfort, 
Jones, Rowland, and the heirs of Knight, did quit claim* to the 
committee above named. J. Townsend, Merrick and Child, de- 
clined to quit claim until the others could be obtained. In 1828, 
the Quakers here became divided by the doctrines of Elias 
Hicks, Tucker and Strickland on one side, and D. Child with 
the orthodox. C. Child, J. Townsend, and J. Merrick, trustees, 
being also with the orthodox. In 1837, D. Child quit claimed 
to J. Townsend and C. Child, his right. The orthodox sect have 
alone claimed and exercised the care of the centre lot. C* 
Child, J. Townsend, and J. Merrick, wishing to be relieved from 
the care of the trust, applied to the monthly meeting to have 
successors appointed, and March 9th, 1843, Samuel G. Slocum, 
of Le Ray, and Robert Townsend and Naylor Child, of Philadel- 
phia, were named as trustees, who, August 5th, 1843, received 
a conveyance,! and executed a declaration of trust. N. Child 
in 1844 made S. G. Slocum his attorney, but this was revoked 
May 1st, 1845.J On the 9th of January, 1845, the Le Ray 
Monthly Meeting had directed the trustees to quit claim to most 
of the occupants on the centre lot, for $1,250 under which direc- 
tion Slocum and Townsend, have subsequently quit claimed most 
of the leased lots, N. Child not concurring. The meeting 
adopted this course in consequence of an anti-rent movement be- 
ginning as early as 1835, and resulting in combination on the 
part of the tenants to resist the payment of rents, claiming that 
after building and keeping up a meeting house, the balance was 
to go to support a school for the use of the tenants; that they 
should have a voice in its management, and that they were the 
beneticiaries of the trust, with the power of dictating to the 

The origin of the anti-rent movement at this place, may 
mainly be traced to the fact, that original leases had been sub- 
divided, subleased to several parties, and again conveyed re- 
peatedly, and these transfers not being legally known to the 
trustees, the latter claimed the right, and in one or two instances 
sttempted to distrain for rent the property of one of the tenants, 
to pay the arrears due on the lot of which he occupied but a 
fart. This, in the view of the tenants, led to the dangerous 
principle that a man*s property was liable to be seized for his 
nnghbys debts, and was followed by a spirit of resistance in 
which nearly every tenant participated. Meetings were held, 
articles of union were drawn up, in which they mutually pledged 
themselves to sustain legal measures until a final settlement, and 

* Jefferson Deedi, A. 2, p. 121. f Jefferson Deeds, X 3, p. 22. 

X Jeftnoo Deeds, b. 77, p. 493. 

224 Philadelphia. 

Jesse Smithy John F, Latimore» and Samuel Rogers, were ap- 
pointed a committee to represent their interests in the matter. 
There had been, moreover, an unwillingness on the part of the 
old trustees of the lot to submit an account of their expenditures, 
as they claimed that to them and them alone had been confided 
^ . the care of thejrust, and that they were amenable only to the 
meeting for its faithful execution. Several instances of appa- 
rent application of the rents to private purposes were produced, 
and specified in legal proceedings that ensued, and to such extent 
had these proceedings led, that the parties of the league pro- 
fessed their readiness to expend their fortunes in suits of law, 
rather than submit to the payment of rents. A few went farther, 
and threatened abuse and violence to the persons and property of 
Quakers, and their meeting house presented marks of depreda- 
tion and pollution committed in the night time. 

The society had in March, 1844, petitioned for a law author- 
izing the trustees to sell the centre lot, which was referred by 
the senate to the attorney general for an opinion, who decided* 
" that it is not competent for any court, or even the legislature 
itself, to add to or diminish from the estate thereby created, or 
to change the nature of the trust, or to confer authority upon the 
trustees to convey the legal estate discharged of this trust, thus 
annexed to it.'' In consequence of this opinion the legislature 
declined acting, and so informed the petitioners. This opinion 
was sustained substantially by those of several eminent legal 

In the final settlement, about twenty-five quit claim deeds were 
given by the new trustees, two or three tenants, members of the 
meeting, declining to receive them. All arrears of rent were 
paid up to April 1, 1844. Whatever may be the legal force of 
these proaeedings, they appear to be satisfactory to those most 
interested^ and warranty deeds are freely given and received for 
the lands which quiet possession for the constitutional period 
will probably confirm. The first school was on the centre lot, 
and mostly supported by rents, and for several years it drew 
money as a school district In 1838, dissensions having arisen 
from the rival claims of the district trustees and the Quakers, in 
the employment of teachers, a school house was built by the dis- 
trict, with a tax in the usual way. The income of rents formerly 
amounted to about $280, which made the schools free. This has 
now been reduced to from $50 to $60. 

In 1805 it was agreed by the trustees of the centre lot, that J* 
and T. Townsend shoulcl have the use of a lot of fifteen or twenty 
acres of land covering the falls, free of rent, twenty years, on 
which to erect a mill ibr the benefit of the settlement A saw 

• e«ute Doc. 1844, No. 110, p. 3. 

Phiiaddphia. 225 

tnd grist mill, under the same roof, was accordingly built in 
1805, James Parker being the millwright, for the two Townsend 
brothers, at this place. The village slowly increased in popu- 
lation, and in 1827 numbered seventeen families, and about 
a dozen houses. It now has two inns, three stores, two saw 
mills, one grist mill, three wagon shops, one machine shop, 
two shingle machines, one cabinet maker, one cooper, three 
blacksmiths, one tinner, and about fifty families. The village is 
six miles from Theresa, six from Antwerp, seven from Evans' 
Mills, four from Sterlingville, and eleven from Ox Bow. The 
Potsdam and Watertown Rail Road at this place, is crossed by 
the surveyed lines of the Utica and Rome Rail Roads, ami the 
fine water power which Indian River here presents, will alford 
an eligible point for the investment of manufacturing capital. 

To the lover of romantic scenery, the falls and ravines below, 
present attractions of much interest, and in the spring floods, the 
. scene becomes one of singular grandeur and beauty. 

Cyrus Dodge, an innkeeper at the village, was instantly killed 
by the bursting of a cannon on the 4th of July, 1829. This 
melancholy accident, resulting from rashly charging the piece 
with stones and grass, checked the festivities of the occasion and 
spread a gloom through the settlement. 

In 1807, a saw mill, known as the De Launey* Mill, was 
built for Le Ray, on Black Creek, a mile and a half above the 
present village of Sterlingville, and in 1824, a saw mill was 
erected at the latter place, for Edmund Tucker, by Hamblin and 
Crofoot, which was the first improvement here. About 1834, a 
second saw mill was built, adjacent to the present forge, and in 

1836, there were but three dwellings in this vicimty. 

In 1837, the iron mines in Antwerp, on the farm of Hopestill 
Foster, having been discovered, and sufficiently explored to war- 
rant the belief of their permanence and value, Mr. James 
Sterling, who had previously been engaged in the Rosise furnace, 
and who had purchased an extensive interest in the mine, origin- 
ated the project of establishing, a furnace on Black Creek, and 
organized a company, under the general act, Oct. 31, 1837, under 
the name of the Sterling Iron Company^ w^th a capital of 
(20,000, in shares of $100 each. The persons named in the 
articles of association, were Orville Hungerford, James Sterling, 
George Walton, Caleb Essington, and George C. Sherman. A 
quarter furnace was erected, early the same year, and in June, 

1837, the first blast commenced, using cold air, and from inex- 
perience in the management of the ore, not proving very success- 
ful. The first blast continued three months, and -made twelve 

* From Mr. De L., a bookkeeper for Le Ray* siace of the firm of De 
Liuney, Luji and Barioe, of Havre. 

22C Philadelphia. 

tons per week. The second continued five months, at about tht 
same rate of yield, and the third blast, commencing Sept. 10, 
1838, was protracted to a year andffteen days, a length of time, 
without a parallel among the furnaces in thisscctionof the state* 
At its close a public dinner was served up to the hands employed 
about the furnace, at the expense of tie proprietors. 

About 1838, an apparatus for heating the air was introduced, 
and continued about six years, since which the cold blast has 
been abne used, which is found to make an iron of a better 
quality, and one capable of being chilled* that renders it admir- 
ably adapted to car wheels, for which it is mostly used. This 
company after continuing less than three years, was giveti U{>, 
and a new one, styled the Philadelphia Iron Company y wiUi a 
capital of $15,000, was formed, under the same general act. 
May 19, 1840, with F. Van Ostrend, Ephraim Taylor, Geofj^e 
Uickerson, William Skinner, and John Gates, the parties named 
in the articles of association. This company has also ceased to 
exist, but the business has been since continued, under different 
names, but always with James Sterling as the eiBcient mover, 
and it is now conducted by him and his associates, with much 

The principal ore employed is from the Sterling Iron Mine, io 
Antwerp, twelve miles distant, from whence it is drawn at a cost 
of $1 per ton. Bog ores from Wilna and Philadelphia, and a 
shaly lean ore from the Fuller and Shurtlitf mines in this towi^ 
near the line of Theresa, have been used to some extent. The 
latter is still used from necessity, as a flux only, for which, from 
the lime contained, it is found to be well adapted. 

In 1841 the furnace was rebuilt; in May 1849 it was burned, 
and it has been recently rebuilt. The size, when erected, was 
twenty six feet square, thirty two feet high, with an inside diameter 
of seven feet, which has been since more or less varied. It has 
been lined with sandstone from Louisburgh, Antwerp, and 

The yield of Sterling ore is from forty to forty-five per cent, 
and the product of the furnace has now become from four to five 
tons daily. For several seasons, the furnace has been run upon 
contract, the proprietor furnishing the works and the ore, while 
the contractor supplies the labor and fuel. 

A forge was erected at this village, about 1839, by Caleb 
Essington, and has been since more or less constantly used for 
refining, no ore being used. 

The iron manufacture is the leading business of Sterlingville^ 
which is a village of about sixty families, and has besides the 

* A term, used to denote the property of becoming coarsely crj^Btaline, 
wkita, uid very kard, when cttt in oonttct witk a cold metallic tur&oa. 

Philadelphia. 337 

furnace and forge, two taverns, two stores, two saw mills, and 
several mechanic shops. It is, by plank road seven and^ half 
miles from Antwerp, and five from Great Bend; and by common 
roads, four miles from Philadelphia, five from Le Raysville, six 
from Evans' Mills, fourteen from Watertown and ten from 

In the village of Sterlingville is a copious chalybeate spring, 
slightly sulphurous, and possessing, without a doubt, medicinal 
properties; but it has never been brought into use. A post office 
was established here in February, 1839, with George Walton 
first post master. The other post offices in this town, are Phila^ 
delphia, Whitney* s Corners , on the plank road from Ox Bow to 
Evans' Mills, and Pbgelandy on the plank road between Antwerp 
and Sterlingville. 

The Philadelphia Library was formed September 13, 1831, 
with Edmund Tucker, Alvah Miirdock, Henry W. Marshall, Joel 
Haworth, John F. Lattimore, Samuel Rogers, Azel Danforth, 
Weeden Mosher, and John R. Taylor, trustees. 

Religious Societies. — ^The Friends organized meetings here 
soon after their settlement: and in 1809, built on the centre lot 
a small fram^ meeting house, which in 1827, was set apart for 
a school, and the present meeting house was built, 30 by 50 feet, 
at a cost of $800, under the direction of Edmund Tucker, J. 
Strickland, Jr., J. Townsend, and C. Child. The Indian River 
Preparative, of the Le Ray Monthly Meeting, occupies this 

The Baptist Church of Philadelphia was formed by ten mem- 
bers November 5, 1840; since which the following ministers have 
been employed, viz: John Stephens, John Wilder, Cbarles H. 
Havens, S. L. Bulas, J. F. Bishop, and Henry Ward. A Society 
was formed December 14, 1840, with Elias Roberts, Walter 
Colton, Jesse Smith, E. D. W^oodward, and Henry York, trustees. 

The Congregational Church of Philadelphia was formed of 
thirteen members by the Rev. N. Button, of Champion, in the 
winter of 1840-1, and continued to employ him for several years. 
The society of this church was formed February 8, 1841, with 
Nelson Ackert, Milo Shattuck, Abiah Ford, Peter Bethel, and 
Alvah Murdock, trustees. These two societies, in 1841, erected 
a Union church, each owning an equal share; cost, $1,600. A 
Methodist society was formed March 9, 1839, with William 
Powell, George Sim, Theodore Cross, Charles R. Sweet, and 
Stephen Post, trustees. They have a church at Philadelphia, 
built soon after the society was formed. 

A second society of the Methodists was formed March 6, 
1844, with Sterling Graves, Richard Crabb, Benjamin Allen, 
and Nelson Chadwick, trustees, who have also a house of worship 
near the line of Antwerp. 

5t28 Rodman. 

St. Nicholas church (Catholic) was built at Sterlingvilley in 
1838-39, at a cost of about $800; the site being given by La 
Farge"! The priest resides at Carthage. 


This town, embracing its present limits and a part of Pinck- 
ney, or township No. 8, and part of No. 9, of the Black River 
Tract, was erected under the name of Harrisoriy from Adams, 
March 24, 1804, the first town meeting being directed to be held 
at the house of Simeon Hunt. The name was derived from 
Richard Harrison, of New York, an eminent lawyer and an asso- 
ciate in several large purchases in this and adjoining counties, 
but it was found inconvenient to have a name so near like Harris^ 
burgh, previously existing in Lewis County, and on the 6th of 
April, 1808, the name was changed to the present. We have 
been unable to ascertain from whence it was derived. By an 
act of February 12, 1808, township No. 9 Was erected into a 
separate town, under the name of Pinckney, and the county line 
was changed to pass around that town instead of across it. 

Nov. 4, 1804, a special town meeting was held, to choose 
delegates to attend a convention at Denmark to consult on meas- 
ures for the division of the County of Oneida. William Rice, 
Cyrus H. Stone and Simeon Hunt, were appointed. 

At the first town meeting of Harrison, held at the house of 
Simeon Hunt, Thomas White was chosen supervisor, George H. 
Thomas, clerk; Ozias H. Rawson, Cyrus H. Stone, William Rice, 
assessors; Jonathan Davis, Robert Stuart, poor masters; David 
Nikles, S. Hunt, Calvin Clifford, commissioners of highvxiys; 
Peter Yandes, constable and collector; George H. Thomas, John 
Y^sseXi, fence viewers; S.Huni, pound master. A special town 
meeting, held for the purpose, September 12, 1805, chose Wm. 
Rice a committee to wait on the court house commissioners, and 
represent the interests of the town. On the 12th of January, 
1807, Wm. Rice, Cyrus H. Stone and Ebenezer Moody, were 
chosen delegates at a special meeting to meet a convention at 
the house of Joseph Clark, in Watertown, on the 13tb inst., to 
take into consideration the military situation of the county. 

Wolf bounties of $ 10 were offered in 1806, 7, 8. In 1806 and 
1814, laws requiring Canada thistles to be cut. In 1823 voted 
against poor house. In 1826, voted to let Wm. Glass's wife* 
have the use of a cow, the cow being secured to the town. 

Supervisors. — 1805, Thomas White; 1806-9, Jonathan Davis; 
1810-11, Enoch Murry; 1812, Samuel C. Kanaday; 1814, Abel 
Cole; 1815 and 1830, Nathan Strong; 1831-32, William M. 
Winslow; 1833-36, Ora Cooley; 1837, George Gates; 1838, 
N. Strong; 1839-40, Thomas Wait; 1841, Ora Cooley; 1842, 

Rodman. 229 

Henry C. Strong; 1843, Herman Strong; 1844-45, H. C. Strong; 
1846, Wm. Gill; 1847, Dennis M. Wait; 1«48.49, Benjamin F. 
Hunt; 1850, Alanson Tibbetts; 1851-52, George Gales; 1853, 
Ora Cooley. 

This town was first opened for settlement by Harrison and 
Hoffman, under Silas Stow, of Lowville, as agent, in 1801, hav- 
ing been surveyed by Joseph Crary the year previous. It was 
divided into 56 lots, and these were subdivided into quarters. 
The land was generally sold for $3*50 per acre. In 1801, Anson 
and Ebenezer Moody, Jonathan, Noah, and Aaron Davis, Ben- 
jamin Thomas, William Rice, Simeon Hunt, and perhaps a few 
others came in, and commenced small clearings, and in Septem- 
ber Mrs. £. Moody came in to reside, being the first woman that 
settled in town. This family occupied a log house which A. 
Moody had erected that season. In the fall, the first birth oc- 
curred, it being a son of E. Moody, who was named Walter 
Harrison Moody. He died at the age of 3 years, and is believed 
to have been the first death in town. His father, in accordance 
with a promise of Mr. Harrison, received 50 acres of land. 
Roads along Sandy Creek and to Burrville were opened in 1801, 
September 4th, 1802, Timothy Greenly from Litchfield, New 
York, bought of Harrison and Hoffman 2669J acres in the south- 
east corner of the town at eighteen shillings per acre, and the 
second season after removed by way of Redfield. He was a 
prominent citizen, and died February 19th, 1852, aged 84. 
William Rice erected at Rodman Village a saw mill in 1804, 
and in 1806 a grist mill. Simeon Hunt was the first inn keeper. 
Bridges were not completed over Sandy Creek until 1809. 

The books of the land holders show the following additional 
names of those who contracted for land under date of December 
ist, 1804. 

Jesse Smith, afterwards the founder of Smithville, Aaron 
Moody, Horace Townsend, Thomas White, Joseph Nickles, 
Arnold Stone, Nathan Whiteman, Avery Wallsworth, Joseph 
Dana, Titus King, Noah Davis, Thadrick Case, Leonard Fare- 
well, Joshua Finney, John Vaughan, Leonard Barker. On the 
25th of March, 1805, Buell and Westcott, Nathan Freeman. 
In August, Hawks and French, Pierce and Lampson, Wright 
Mead, &c. During the years 1803-6, the town settled with 
great rapidity, and the pioneers suffered no further hardships 
than fall to the lot of all emigrants. In 1813, sixty deaths oc- 
curred in town, mostly within three months, and from the pre- 
vailing epidemic. With this exception the town has not suffered 
from the sickness that has prevailed in other towns nearer 
the lake. Its feeling of mutual dependence and a willingness 
to divide the burthens and misfortunes of life, is spoken of as 

230 Rodman. 

having existed to an unusual degree in the early settlement 
of the town, in evidence of which, the custom is said to have 
prevailed, if any one was sick and unable to attend to his fields, 
his work was always kept up even with those around him, and 
if one chanced to kill a deer, then very common in town, the 
venison was uniformly divided with neighbors. The kindest 
feeling has ever existed between the several religious societies. 
A school was first opened in town by Miss M. Nobles, in Anson 
Moody's barn, in the summer of 1803. 

The alarm of the hrst attack on Sackets Harbor, reached this 
town on the sabbath, and created a great excitement. On the day 
following, there was formed a Silver Grey company, of men not 
required to perform military duty. Nathan Strong was chosen 
captain, Simeon Hunt, lieutenant, and Sheldon Hopkins, ensign. 
It numbered about 60 men, and on one occasion repaired to 
Sackets Harbor, but was never armed or called into service. In 
the drafts upon the militia during the war, this town sustained its 
full share, and but few persons left through fear. The Silver 
Greys, in their articles of association, agreed to march to any 
place, within 50 miles of home. 

The earlier surveyors and settlers noticed in a small flat at the 
bottom of the Gulf Stream, a ravine in this town, growing in 
great luxuriance, a variety of plants which are common around 
dwellings, and introduced for medicinal purposes, as tansy, mints, 
balm, &c. The question of their origin, and the time and manner 
of their introduction is a matter of curiosity, but was never 
ascertained. No appearances but these indicated that the place 
had been formerly inhabited. 

Rodman Village, in the valley north of Sandy Creek, five miles 
above Adams, is built mostly on the south bank, and has two 
taverns, four stores, a Methodist and a Congregational church, a 
seminary, and about forty-five dwellings, with the usual variety 
of mechanics' shops. During a considerable part of the year, 
it has hydraulic power for mills, but in the summer months this 
is to some extent supplied by steam. In 1816, a mail route was 
established, and Nathan Strong was appointed first postmaster. 

In 1840, a seminary of wood, two stories high, with a porch 
in front, and a cupola, was built by voluntary subscriptions, at a 
cost of about $1,200. The land was conveyed in trust to the 
trustees of the Harrison Society, for the purpose of a school, by 
the heirs of Nathan Strong, and for several years a select school 
has been maintained here. On the 8th of December 1840, the 
name of Rodman Unix)n Seminary, was adopted, and Jan. 5th, 
184 1-, a constitution was formed, and thirteen trustees chosen. 

Zoar is a hamlet on Sandy Creek, one mile above Rodman 
Village, where there is a Baptist church, inn, store, a few shops, 
and al3out twenty dwellings. 

Rodman. 231 

WhUesville (East Rodman, post office), is on Sandy Greek, 
about five miles above Rodman Village. It derives its name 
from Thomas White, who in 1802 settled there from Litchfield, 
N. Y. He wasfor several years a sub agent for the town, and 
10 1803 built the first grist mill in town. He removed westward, 
about 1810. At this place is a small village, consisting of a 
store, ^rist mill, a few shops, and a small cluster of dwellings. 

Religious Societies. — The first religious service in town, was 
conducted in the summer of 1802, by Rev. Mr. Woodward, a 
missionary, who on a week day •preache4 to a small audience, at 
the hut of Anson Moody. 

The Congregational Church of Rodman, w^as formed by Rev. 
EbenezerLazelle, of Watertown, Sept. 22y 1805. Occasional 
preaching only was had until the second sabbath in Aug. 1808, 
when the Rev. David Spear,* first preached, and was soon em- 
ployed. In Sept. 1809, he was installed, has since, w^ith two or 
three years' interval, continued the pastor until the J)resent time. 
The first number was 9, total 521; present number (August. 
1853), 210. In 1809, July 17th, the Harrison Society, belonging 
with this church, was formed, with Reuben Tremain, James 
Loomis, Asa Davis, Simeon Hunt, Jonathan Wyman and D. 
Eastman, trustees. The society was reorganized, April, 24, 1834, 
and in 1815 built a church 38 by 50 feet. In 1850 this was 
replaced by the present church, which was dedicated in March, 
1851; it is 40 by 61 feet. From 1809 to 1821, was a period of 
religious interest, and in 1821-23, were great accessions. 

In the spring of 1811, about six or eight Baptists in town, 
agreed to hold meetings on the sabbath, as often as convenient, 
and to invite such preachers as might be procured to attend, among 
whom w-as Joseph Maltby, who on the 27th of March, 1812, 
formed, at the house of Benjamin Cole, a church of nine males 
and thirteen females. These, on the lOlh of June, were duly 
fellowshiped, by a council convened for the purpose by delegates 
from Rutland First Church (Elder Solomon Johnson), Adams 
(Elder Timothy Heath), and Watertown (Elders Gill and Mor- 
gan), and Mr. Maltby was duly ordained as pastor. Isaac 
Benjamin, Joseph Cornell, Daniel Peck, and others have since 
been employed. This church was afterwards formed as a branch 
of the Adams Church, and in November 1844, it was reorganized 
as a separate church, on a petition signed by about 50 members. 
In 1822, a church was erected at Zoar, and Dec. 11th, 1822, a 
society was formed with Arnold Stone, Levi Heath, and Elisha 

* It is seldom that we meet with an instance in which the pastoral relation 
lias been so long maintained by one person. Mr. Spear was born in Rupert, 
Vt., Jane, 1781, and studied with Rev. John B. Preston, of his native place. 
Since the above date he has resided here, and no better evidence of esteem and 
^gard, emrned by a lifetime of daily precept, by example, could be adduced. 

239 Rutland. 

Cook, trustees. On the 6th of Oct. 1846, this was redrganized, 
with P. W. Dyer, John Nichols, and John W. Wait, trustees. 

The First Methodist Society in Rodman, was formed Aug. 6, 
1829, with John Adams, Jonathan ^oyington, Ebenezer Black- 
stone, Arthur Robbins, Anson Moody, Epaphras Moody, Wm. 
Butterfield, Daniel Kinney, and Chauncey Davis, trustees. This 
society has a church, two miles below Whitesville. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Society, in Rodman Village, 
was formed March, 1843, with Elam Cooley, Hiram Buell, John 
Buell, James W. Brown, Winson D. Allport, Alanson Kinney, 
Isaac Jenks, Freeman Tuttle, and Almanzor Tibbets, trustees. 
A church was built in 1849. 

The Second Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 
Rodman, was formed Dec. 10, 1841. Green Budlong, Hiram 
Buel, Allen Parker, Orris Buel, Joseph S. Rising, Jesse Spencer, 
Abel Case, Jacob Vroman, and Hervy Kellogg, were elected 


This town, embracing its present limits, or township No. 3, 
of the Black River Tract, was taken April 1, 1802, from Water- 
town; the first town meeting being held at the house of David 

The first town officers chosen, were David Coffeen, supervisor; 
Jacob A. Williams, clerk; Abel Sherman,* Zelotus Harvey, Wm. 
-Coffeen, assessors; Levi Heath, Solomun Thompson, Gershom 
Tuttle, commissioners highways; Beiij. Edde, constable and col" 
lector; besides two pound masters, three fence viewers, twelve 
path masters, three deer reeves, six hog reeves, and a committee 
of three to settle accounts with Watertown. 

Wolf bounties of $10 were offered in 1803, 7, 8, 14, and of 
tl5, in 1805-6. Fox bounties of $0-50, in 1816, and of $1, in 
1818. In 1811-12 a law was passed, requiring Canada thistles 
to be cut, "at the full moon in June, July, and August," under a 
penalty of $1. 

Supervisors.— 1803, David Coffeen; 1804-5, CI ifl French; 
1806, Ethel Bronson; 1807, Zelotus Harvey; 1808, Hugh Hen- 
derson. At a special meeting in April, Ethel Bronson, to fill 
vacancy; 1809-13, Judah Williams. In July 1813, Jonathan 
Smiley, to fill vacancy; 1814-20. J. Smiley; 1821-23, Ethel 
Bronson; 1824-26, Amos Stebbins; 1827-35, Joseph Graves; 
1836, John Felt; 1837-40, Geo. White; 1841-42, Aaron W. 
Potter; 1843, J. Graves; 1844, David Howland; 1845, Gardner 
Towne; 1846-47, Merril Coburn; 1848-49, Asa Clark, Jr.; 
1850-52, Martin L. Graves; 1853, John A. Sherman. 

* Dr. Abel Sherman, the first sheriff, was a native of Brimfield, Mats,, 
and removed to Clinton, Oneida County, from whence, in 1802, he settled in 
Rutland, on the south road, where he subsequently lived and died. 

EuHand. 883 

The name of this town was selected at a town meeting, held 
for the purpose, and was suggested by settlers from Rutland, in 

This town was surveyed by Benjamin Wright, in 1796, into 
67 lots, of about 500 acres each, and in 1799 he subdivided these 
into quarters. 

This town having fell to the share of Wm. Henderson, in the 
division of the Black River Tract, was first opened for settlement 
by his agent, Asher Miller, of Middletown, Ct., whom he em- 
ployed, June 6, 1799, to remove to the town, and commence 
improvements. As a consideration, he was allowed the choice 
of 500 acres, wherever he might select, and at a very reduced 
rate. Accordingly, in July, Miller opened a road from the river, 
to near the centre of the town, and fixed his residence and location, 
near the small lake, about a mile east of Rutland Village. From 
a memorandum, made by him, we derive the following names of 
purchasers, during the years 1799, 1800, 1801, from which it 
will be seen, that the town settled with great rapidity, mostly by 
emigrants from New England. Nearly all of these men are now 
dead. The number of acres taken by each is appended. 

In 1799, Levi Butterfield (September 21), 172; Perley Keyes, 
Amos Stebbins, and William Keyes (October 3), 343; David 
Coflfeen (November 1), 391; Goldsmith Coffeen, 312; Raphael 
Porter, 213; Israel Wright, 98; Jonathan and Clark Boss, 161 
James Kill iam, 141; Charles Kelsey, 116; Jeptha King, 137 
John Dole, 154; Gardner Cleveland, 242; Warren l^oster, 142 
John Cotes, 134 (November 6). 

In 1800, in June, John Earl, Jr., 120; Nathan Green, 128 
Robert Jeroms, 145; Isaac and Caleb Corp, 196; in July, Henry 
Houk, 130; in autumn, John Earl, 134; Danford Earl, 113 
Simeon Munson, 89; Mathias Houk, 135; Alford Comins, 94 
Charles Comins, 128; Solomon Tuttle, 233; Chauncey Rawson 
122; GershomTuttle, 276; Abel Sherman, 229; KenyonLarkin 
352; Peter Cook, 92; Ezekiel Andrews, 144; — Rose, — Welch 
155; Lot McClure, 72; Isaiah Bailey, 50; Luther Foot, 137 
EnosSanford, 141; Jacob A. Williams, 108; Amos Barnes, 2d 
97; Stephen Kemball, 97; Vernon Huston, 193; Elijah Beech 
80; Thomas Lee, 61; Daniel Russell, 75; Turner Ellis, 160 
Joseph Patterson, 122; Silas Pierce, 100; Benjamin White, 53 
James Murray, 125; Abner White, 51; Thomas M. Converse, 

78; Brayion, Swan, 93: Jonathan Hill, Frederick 

Tyler, 146; John Stanley, 136; Stephen Cummins, 146; Andrew 
Stafford, 116; James Stafford, 106; William H. Stevens, 81; 
Dr. Philips, 197; Henry Allen, 106; ElishaLudden,261; Philip 
H. Hinman; 269; Thomas Hosmer, 225; Peter Wright, 118; 
Erastus Maltby, 158; Chandler Maltby, 151; Roger Williams, 


234 Rutland. 

291; George White, 266; Benjamin Pike, 170; Clift French, 

In 1801, William Coffeen, 257; Thomas Dunton, 328; John 
Patterson, 130; Alexander Warner, 74; Joseph Wakefield, 98; 
Jesse Hale, Asa, and Luther Brown, 100; Josiah Osmer, Luther 
W.^ Dexter, 120; Samuel Tread way, 178; Orange Eno, 68; 
James Morse, 68; Levi Hare, 155; Joseph Underwood, 133; 
John Smith, 121; David Stafford, 118; Thomas Starkweather, 
103; Joseph Luddon, 124; Thomas Hill, 112; Caleb Harris, 

114; Scott, Wessel, Johnson, 651 ; Asher Bull, 

247; Ethan Newton, 130; Stukely Wicks, 114; Jonathan Covey, 
126; Job Olmstead, 145; Brittan, -. Foster, 173. 

Without date, but in one of the above years, Jonathan Davis, 
93; Thinyon Green, 110; Charles Hill, 120; Jacob Shook, 70; 
Ethan Post, 148; Artemas Pike, 135; Samuel Parker, 120. 

The total amount of sales during the three years was 17,549*03 
acres for $50,738*14, the contracts being without interest for 
one year. By much the largest part of the town was thus rapidly 
settled, the unsold portions being along the north and south 

In June, 1803, Abel French succeeded as agent, and the 
same year sold 2,313 acres for $7,112*60. Early in 1804, Hen- 
derson assigned to Dr. Isaac Bronson, of Greenfield, Ct., and 
afterwards of New York, his interest in the town. Dr. Bron- 
son was born in Middlebury, Ct.; when a youth he studied 
medicine at Hartford, and at an early age obtained a commission 
as surgeon on board a merchant ship, and sailed for the East 
Indies, where, by trade, he amassed wealth. On returning, he 
embarked in land speculations, and ^mong other things, on the 
disbandment of the American army, at the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war, he purchased soldiers' scrip at a great discount, 
which afterwards rose to par. 

Soon. after the purchase of the townships by Dr. Isaac Bron- 
son, he appointed Ethel Bronson, his brother, of Middlebury, Ct, 
agent, to settle in the town and sell his lands. Previous adven- 
turers had brought back flattering accounts of the country, and 
New England was filled with the fame of the new and fertile 
lands of the Black River Country. In May, 1804, Ethel Bronson, 
David Tyler, and Josiah Tyler, with their families, started 
for their distant home. Three weeks were consumed in the 
journey, the latter part of which was diflScult and perilous. The 
roads, lately marked out, and leading through almost uninhabited 
forests, were hardly passable with teams. Frequent breakages 
compelled the party to walk, encamp in their wagons, or the 
most convenieHit locality, and' subsist on whatever was at hand. 
Fortunately, however, they suffered no want of provisions before 

Rutland. 236 

they reached their destination. Ethel Bronson settled in the 
centre of the town; and David and Josiah Tyler, in the southern 
part; after whom the present village of Tylerville was named. 

Among the first to settle in this town, were Samuel Porter and 
family, who experienced many hardships, being obliged to send 
to Whitesboro to mill, a distance of nearly seventy miles, the 
journey being performed with an ox team. It is said that strag- 
gling Indians infested the settlements when new, and proved an- 
noying, by pilfering, or openly plundering the property of the 
settlers in the absence of the men at their work. 

In connection with the perils of the pioneer life, may here, 

1>erhaps, not inappropriately be noticed those of one, who, at a 
ater period, lived and died in this town. The events happened 
at an early period, and at a distant locality, but the account will 
interest many who were personally acquainted with their heroine. 

^^ Mrs. Elizabeth Parkinson, who died in Rutland, June 22, 
1842, at the advanced age of eighty-four, was a native of New 
Hampshire, having married, for her first husband, Mr. Peter Poor, 
and with him moved to the town of Bethel, situated near the 
source of the Androscoggin River, in the state of Maine. Here 
she was residing with her husband and two children in the year 
1781; in the autumn of which year the savages came down upon 
that recent and defenceless settlement to seek for scalps and 

These savages were instigated to maurauding and murderous 
expeditions by the bounty offered by the British for scalps. They 
entered the house of Mrs. P., with two of her neighbors already 
captured and bound, and made enquiry for her husband, who was 
fortunately absent at the time. After having ate, plundered and 
rioted as they pleased, they went in quest of Mr. Poor, and with- 
out her knowledge found him, and on his refusing to become 
their prisoner, shot him, and took his scalp in their sacks. Mrs. 
P. fled from her house with her children, and waded the Andros- 
coggin at as great a depth as she dared, in order to avoid being 
traced by the Indians, and at night lodged in the forest. Mean- 
while, her husband had been discovered and taken up, and in the 
first house she dared approach, she beheld his mutilated and 
bloody corpse. This was a heart-rending scene; and yet it was 
met with Christian fortitude. She was soon composed, and sat 
down to her Bible, which she had not forgotten to take along 
with her, and opened the 46th Psalm, and when she came to the 
10th verse she responded in her heart, '^ I will be still." She 
buried her husband, then took her children with her upon a horse 
and started for her friends. The road was, at best, only a foot- 
path, winding through a dense forest, over hills and across 
oridgeless streams. The journey was made as fast as possible by 

236 Rutland. 

day, and through the night she composed herself as well as she 
could, being compelled to lodge upon the ground with no cover- 
ing but the dense branches of the woods. There were beasts of 
Erey to seek her life, and none to preserve and defend her but 
er Maker. 
She afterwards married Mr. William Parkinson, with whom 
she moved to Sharon, in this state. They were indigent in cir- 
cumstances, and, as usual in new countries, Mrs. P. endured pri- 
vations, and labored hard to assist her husband in maintaining 
the family. She earned some money by weaving, and on Satur- 
day of each week would travel on foot five and eight miles with 
the articles she had woven, receive her pittance for her work, 
and return to her family. She afterwards removed to Rutland, 
where her husband soon died, and where herself finally rests from 
her labors.*' 

These facts were taken from an extended obituary notice, pub- 
lished in the New-York Observer, December 10, 1842. The first 
child born in the town of Rutland, among the families of set- 
tlers, was in the family of Charles Kelsey. The first school was 
taught by Miss A. Porter, in 1803. The early incidents of this 
town do not possess sufficient interest to particularize from those 
in the country generally. 

In the newly settled district embraced in townships 2 and 3, 
the men were mostly in the prime of life, fond of athletic games, 
and, at their gatherings, would often indulge in amusements that 
are now nearly obsolete. Among these, wrestling at " square 
hold," was esteemed as a sport that afforded the fairest test of 
personal strength and agility, and a successful wrestler would, in 
those days, acquire distinction wholly unknown at present On 
a certain occasion, about 1803, a bet had been made by a No, 1 
man, " that his town (Rutland) could throw every thing in 
No. 2" (Watertown), and as this challenge was too direct to be 
evaded, about a hundred men assembled, by appointment, at G. 
Tuttle's, in the edge of Rutland, to settle the question, the vic- 
tors, besides the consolation of beating their adversaries, beijig 
promised all they could eat and drink. After various prelimina- 
ries and much discussion, it was agreed that each town should 
choose a man, and that they would abide by the result of this sin- 
gle contest. David Coffeen was chosen by No. 3, and Turner by 
No. 2, but after a long trial neither succeeded, and night put an 
end to the contest. The parties separated, with the agreement 
that they should settle the question when they next met, which 
accidentally happened some days after, and the question of su- 
premacy was decided in favor^of Rutland. 

During the war, a company of Silver Grays^ consisting of 
about forty, mostly revolutionary soldiers, whose age exempted 

Rutland. 337 

them from militia service, was organized under Timothy Tamb- 
lin as captain, and Levi Butterfield as lieutenant. They were at 
Sackets Harbor for several weeks, and erected near the site of 
Madison Barracks, a defence, which was named Fort Volunteer. 
Judge Ethel Bronson continued in the agency of his brother's 
estates in this county till his death in 1825, and in September, 
Major George White, an active and prominent citizen, who had 
lived in town almost since its first settlement, was appointed, and 
continued till the lands were sold, and accounts settled with the 
proprietor. On the 13th of April, 1846, the last of the lands 
were sold, it being an island near the village of Black River. 
Most of the settlers enumerated in the previous list, came in and 
commenced improvements immediately. Dr. Hugh Henderson 
was the first physician; the first death was the wife of Francis 

The first inn was kept by Levi Butterfield, near the centre of 
the town, at what is now generally called Rutland Village. The 
county map of Burr gives the name of this place as BrooksvUle, 
from Curtis G.Brooks, an early and prominent settler, but it has 
never been known by this among the inhabitants. 

The first grist mill in town, and in the county, was erected in 
1800 by David Coffeen, who had received a gift often acres (to 
be confirmed when the mill was finished) at the present village 
of FeWs MUlSf and on Mill Creek near its mouth. This prim- 
itive mill was indeed rude and humble, but very useful for the 
settlements throughout the county. It was got in operation in 
March 1801, and was resorted to from great distances. The 
millwright was Samuel Parker, and the first pair of mill stones 
was made from boulders of gneiss, found in the vicinity. This 
mill opened a new era in the business of milling, which had been 
previously accomplished by pounding in stump mortars rudely 
scooped out. 

This was the first improvement in this place, and the next 
season a saw mill was erected. Coffeen, subsequently sold to 
Wolcott Hubbel, and the latter to Barnabas Eldridge. The 
prdperty passed from him to Barnabas La Grange, and in 1813, 
to John Felt, from whom the place derives its present name. 

In 1808, a bridge was built to the Island, and soon after 
another to the north bank, which was swept off in 1811. In 
1821, a dam was built across Black River, and the present stone 
grist mill was erected the year af^er. In 1823-4, a saw mill 
^Was built on the island, and in 1842 another and larger one 
lower done, since which time a very extensive business of lum- 
l>ering has been carried on at this place, from two to three millions 
of feet of pine having been sent to market annually. The Pine 
t^lains which are immediately adjacent on the north bank of the 

238 Rutland. 

river furnished for many years the logs for supplying these mills, 
but this source having been mostly exhausted, they are now 
principally derived from the forests in the eastern part of Lewis 
County, being floated down in the spring flood. This business 
at this place may be said to have nearly ended. 

Felt's Mills is a place of considerable business, having besides 
three saw mills, a grist mill, and a variety of manufacturing 
establishments with water power, an inn, several stores, a Union 
Church, and about fifty dwellings. The church belongs to 
Methodists, Baptists, and Universal ists, and was erected in 
in 1848. This place is by plank road eight miles from Water- 
town and two from the Great Bend. 

By an act of April 1st, 1841, the island at Felt's Mills was 
taken from Le Ray, and annexed to Rutland. The Felt's Mills 
Burial Ground Association was formed March 29th, 1852, with 
Oliver A. Tooker, Henry W. Chapman, Elijah Graves, Samuel 
Felt, Hugh Roberts, and Joshua Roberts, trustees. 

Tylerville (East Rutland P. O.), is situated in a narrow val- 
ley, on Sandy Creek, and at an early day it acquired some im- 
portance from its being the seat of a small woolen factory, that 
was erected by The Rvtland Woolen Manufacturing Company^ 
formed September 25th, 1811, with a capital of $25,000, and 
the following parties as signers of the articles, the first three 
being trustees. Ethel Bronson^ Daniel Eamesy Jonah Tyler, 
Thomas Hilly Ahel DoolittUy Eber Ingalsbey and John Oaks. 

The first settlement at this place began in the spring of 1805, 
by Erastus Lathrop and Nathaniel Frink, from Norway, N. Y., 
the former of w*hom erected a grist mill, and the latter a saw 
mill. Josiah and Frederick Tyler were early settlers, and from 
them the village derives its name. Joel Webb, Abel Doolittle, 
and others settled here at an early period. The woolen factory 
established here was the first in the county. A building for 
carding and spinning by water, and another for hand looms were 
built at this place in 1812, and got in operation during the fol- 
lowing winter. High prices were necessarily paid for wool, 
which embarrassed their operations, and on the 13th of April, 
1814, an act was passed allowing $5,000 to be loaned from the 
state treasury to Ethel Bronson, in behalf of the company, secu- 
rity being given. September 19, 1817, the machinery was sold 
at auction to Daniel Eames for $400, and it has since been used 
as a cloth dressing works, until within ten years. About eighty 
per cent of stock was paid in, and most of those concerned lost 
money in the business. Since the discontinuance of these opera- 
tions the place has not grown, and it has but about thirty 

Black River village and post office, locally known as Lock'^ 

RtOland. 339 

pori, is aittiated two and a half miles below Felt's Mills, on both 
sides of Black River; in Rutland and Le Ray. ImproTements 
cc»Dmenced here in 1806, by the erection of a saw mill by Isaac 
and Harvey CJeveland. The mill being destroyed by the flood 
of 1807, was rebuilt the same season. There was at this place, 
in 1818, but one house. About 1815, Andrew Middleton and 
Christopher Poor erected a mill at some distance below tbe pres- 
ent village, where a branch of Black River issues from a suoter- 
Taoeati passage, and aSbrds a mill privilege. About 1810 there 
was erected a grist mill, and the place being one that afibrda 
so extraordinary amount of water power, has become the centre 
of considerable business, having at present three saw mills, a 
grist mill, two butter tub factories, a chair factory, a tannery, 
two shingle factories, a wagon shop, a machine shop, two inns, 
&C. There are several very available, but at present unoccupied 
water privileges on Black River, the whole of which could be 
repeatedly used below the village. This town deserves honora- 
ble mention, for the interest that has been manifested in support- 
ing district schools. In 1836, school district No. 4, erected on a 
road between the middle and south roads, the elegant school 
house represented in 
the accompanying 
engraving, at a cost 
of about (1,000. 
The project was 
originated and 
mostly sustained by 
Moses Eames, Cliff . 
£ a m e 8 , Gardner 
Towne, Alexander 
Warner, Horace 
Tyler, and B. F. 
Hunt, who were Tht Madtt School Bouit. 

subsequently joined 

by H. Hopkins. This district has found it for their interest to 
employ well qualified teachers, and the school has for several 
years been under the supervision of Miss C. M. Johnson (a grad- 
uate of the State Normal School), to whom it owes much of it* 
popularity. The trustees have also taken care to provide appa- 
ratus, and all those appendages that tend to the promotion of the 
health, comfort, and menial improvement of scholars. Tbe ex« 
ample has been followed by several other districts, and has ex- 
cited an emulation in the highest degree beneficial. The repu- 
tation of these schools has drawo students from a distance, and 
tbe enlightened policy with which they have been conducted it 
worthy of general imitation. 

240 Rutland. 

Rutland is one of the best dairying towns in the county, if 
not in the state. It is situated on the siftnmit of the Trenton 
limestone formation, and although to one entering it from 
Watertown, it appears elevated, it is less so than the country 
further east and south, and one cause of its peculiar fitness for 
grazing, is, doubtless, in the abundance and excellence of its 
springs of water. From the brow of the hills that overlook the 
country north and west, to great distances, the most magnifi- 
cent prospect is presented, the country below being quite level, 
in one direction bounded by the lake, and in the other it extends 
off towards St. Lawrence County, until lost in the distanca The 
traces of ancient works which this town affords, indicate that it 
was formerly inhabited by the native Indians in considerable 
numbers, but their cabins had nearly or quite disappeared from 
this, in common with most other parts of the county, before the 
present settlements commenced. 

There are several deeply interesting geological features in this 
town, which are due to the latest, and, indeed, almost the last, of 
the agencies which have modified the earth's surface. Across 
the northern part of the town, nearly parallel with Black River, 
and about two miles distant, is Rutland Hollow^ a remarkable 
valley, worn in the limestone, like the valley of a river, but en- 
tirely destitute of any running stream that could have produced 
it. Near the middle is a marshy spot, from which the water flows 
off in both directions, and then appears to be continued across 
Watertown, Houndsfield, Adams, and Henderson, to the lake, 
although in some places interrupted, and scarcely perceptible. 

Along the edge of the terrace of limestone which underlies the 
town, and at an elevation of nearly four hundred feet above the 
lake, is distinctly to be observed the trace of an ancient beach, 

!>roving that the lake once washed these bluffs, and covered the 
ow country north and west. Both of these features in geology 
will be again noticed. 

Near the south-west border of this town, are the Burrville CaS" 
cades, which consist of four separate falls, leaping into one basin, 
from the elevated table land above. The first two descend a per- 
pendicular distance of forty-five feet, and the last two a distance 
of twenty to thirty feet, by a gradual descent, over shelving lime- 
stone rock. These streams, uniting at this point, form the North 
Sandy Creek. Standing at the foot of the fall, the semicircular 
basin, fringed with foliage of varied hues, and resounding with 
the music of the waterfalls, the scene in summer is one of sur- 
passing loveliness, and when swollen by spring floods, one of 
singular grandeur. The spot is much resorted to, and is said by 
tourists to excel, in quiet, yet majestic beauty, any scenery in the 
state. It is narrated that a Mr. Lampson fell from the top of the 
highest fall to the bottom, and escaped uninjured. 

Rutland. 241 

On the farm of Dr. C. P. Kimball, near Burrvilley is a remark- 
ably copious spring, tbe same that is mentioned by the Rev. John 
Taylor, in an early missionary tour through the country.* 

The Rutland Farmers^ Lihrary was incorporated Nov. 11, 
J806, the, first trustees being, Ethel Bronson, Hugh Henderson, 
^bel Sherman, Daniel Eames, and Curtis Mallory. 

Relimous Societies. — Meetings for religious worship were 
£rst held at the house of Raphael Porter. The first Congrega- 
tional church was organized Jan. 12, 1808, by the Rev. — La- 
^hrop, a missionary, from Vermont, consisting of ten members, 
^viz., David Tyler, Amos Mallory, Thomas Converse and wife, 
"Timothy Tamblin and wife, Samuel Porter and wife, and Wil- 
liam Parkinson and wife, Amos Mallory and David Tyler, 
^^¥ere afterwards chosen deacons. The whole number received as 
ommunicants up to Nov. 6, 1853, has been 320: present nimi-^ 
er 100. 

The First Religious Society of Rutland was formed Feb. 8, 
11808, and Ethel Brunson, Timothy Tamblin, John Read, Thomas 
^IJonvefse, and Ebenezer Hay ward, were elected trustees. 

It may be mentioned as indicative of the strict Puritanism of 
*^he early fathers of the church, that Amos Mallory was objected 
"^o for the office of deacon, on account of not having a wife, a de- 
£ciency which is contrary to the letter of the law. We are not in- 
:ibnned whether they required him to qualify for the office by com- 
])Iying with the scriptural advice on this subject. The first pruden- 
tial committee was formed Oct. 26, 1815, consisting of David 
Tyler, Amos Mallory, Ethel Bronson, Jonas Bronson, Levi Hall, 
and Rev. Daniel Banks, the latter of whom became the first pas- 
tor, and was ordained over this church and that of Watertown, 
October 26, 1815. Previous to him, the clergy had been, the 
]lev.*Messrs. - — Lathrop, 1808, Enos Bliss, 1810, — Leaven- 
irorth, 1813. On the 20th Jan., 1824, the Rev. Adams W. 
Piatt was ordained, and remained till July, 1829, when he dis- 
solved his connection with the church. On the 24th of Feb- 
Toary, 1824, the church numbered 87 members, the total up to 
that time having been 116, of whom 23 had united by letter, and 
77 by profession. Of the latter, 30 joined in 1817, and 18 in 
1822-3. On the 22d December, 1823, it was resolved to unite 
'with the Presbytery, retaining the former plan of government, 
l>ut placing themselves under their watch and care. This was 
done Jan. 20, 1824. 

In 1835, July 5, the Rev. David Spear was employed for a 

stated time; in 1838, Rev. Morton; and in 1839 the Rev. 

J. H. Rice. On the 25th of November, 1841, the Rev. Hiram 
Boane was installed over the church. Rev. James Douglas was 

• Documentary History of New-York, vol. iii., p. 1144. 

343 Rtidand. 

in September, I860, employed for one year, at the end of which 
time he left to (ill a professorship to which he had been promoted 
in Genesee College, Lima, N. Y. In his absence, the Rev. Hen- 
ry Budge was employed for one year, and in May, 1853, Prof. 
James Douglass, having resigned his chair as professor, received 
a unanimous call from the church and society to become their 
pastor, and in September, of the same year, was ordained and 
installed over the church. 

For a series of years, meetings were held in a school house, 
until the first church was erected in 1819, opposite the residence 
of Henry Hopkins. The old site was exchanged for a new one, 
upon which (he 
present edifice 
• was erected, in 
1841. It has a 
bell, a good in- 
strument for the 
choir, and an am- 
ple session room 
in the basenient 
There is a flour- 
ishing sabbath ^^ 
school connected ^^ 
with the church, 
numbering about 
100 scholars, and 
a library of 500 
volumes. The 
Ladies' Sewing Circle contributes about $50 per year to char-" 
itable purposes, and contributions to other benevolent objects, 
during the past year, have amounted to $150. We are indebted 
to Mr. Charles Hopkins, of Yale College, for most of the above 

The North Rutland Baptist Church was formed from' one tfaat 
had been disbanded July 22, 1837; reorganized by a council 
September 27, following, with twenty-eight memben^ In June, 
1836, they were received by the Black River Association, under 
the charge of Elder Alvab D. Freeman, who remained till Sep- 
tember 14, 1839. In December, 1839, Justus Taylor succeeded, 
and May 7, 1840, was dismissed. Elder Sardis Little beguo 
June SO, 1840, and continued till January 6, 1842. Elder John 
Wilder remained from May 21, 1842, till May 1, 1847, when 
Elder Sylvester Davis supplied the desk occasionally until April 
29, 1848, when Elder D. D. Reed succeeded till March, i860. 
In the summer of 1850, Elder Hartshorn was employed, am) 
since August 1st, 1850, Elder Lorenzo Bice. Total number up 

Cangngalional Church. 

Therem. 243 

to the present time, 138; dismissed by letter, 65; excluded, 8; 
restored, 1; died, 11; present number 56. A church was erected 
near the residence ot Dea. Fuller, in the north part of ,the town, 
in 1821, at a cost of |1200, and on the 6th of January, 1842, 
by the advice of a council, adopted by the church, it was voted 
unanimously to remove the location to the Great Bend, which 
was accordingly done, and a new church, derived, so far as prac- 
ticable, from the old, was erected at the latter place, as stated on 
page 135 of this work. 

The Baptist Society of South Rutland was formed November 
11, 1833, James Brown, Steven Brainard, and Milo Maltby, 
trustees. This society, in concert with the Methodists and Uni- 
versalists, in 1843 erected a union church, the only one in the 
village of Tylerville. 

A Baptist church was formed at Lockport, in 1837, and the 
next year joined the association and reported thirty-nine mem- 
bers. It never had a meeting house, and has ceased to report. 

The Methodists erected, several years since, a church in Rut- 
land Hollow, but we have not been able to procure its statistics. 

The Methodist Episcopal Society of Black River was formed 
April 9^ 1845, with Thomas H. Scott, Bildad Woodward, Henry 
Scott, William P. Treadway, and David Dexter, trustees. 


This town was erected by an act of April 15th, 1841, from 
Alexandria, with its present limits, the first town meeting being 
directed to be held at the house of Marcius B. Ashley, ih the 
village of Theresa. An election was held May 11th, to fill 
vacancies occasioned by the act, those elected at the last meeting 
in Alexandria, being still the incumbents in the towns in which 
they resided, till the expiration of their terms. 

Supervisors. — 1841, Alexander Salisbury; 1842-3, John D. 
Davison; 1844-5, Archibald Fisher; 1846, Jesse Kelsey; 
1847-8, ZalmonPool, Jr.; 1849-50, Anson Ranney; 1851, P. 
D. Bollard; 1852-3, A. Ramsey. 

This town was named after the daughter of J. Le Ray, who 
married the Marquis de Gouvello, and resides in France. 

The Falls on Indian River in this town, were early marked as 
an eligible point for a village, and about 1810, Mr. Le Ray 
caused several '^ jobs" to be cleared in town, one of one hun- 
dred acres on the James ShurtlifF farm, a mile and a quarter 
south of the falls, another of forty acres, nearer the falls, at the 
forks of the roads near Mr. J. Fayel's residence, and one or two 
others in this town, and Alexandria. He also caused a sawmill 
to be erected at the Falls, at which many thousand feet of lum- 
W were made, and sent down to Rossie and Ogdensburgh. 

244 Therem. 

The war which soon ensued checked these improvements, and 
left a large quantity of lumber on the premises, much of which 
rotted on the ground. The clearings having been seeded with 
grass, were occupied in the summer of 1813, as pasturage for 
a herd of sixty cattle, twenty horses, and about four hundred and 
fifty sheep, of which Capt. John Hoover, and a hired man (John 
A. £vans) were employed as keepers. The hazard attending 
the trust may be inferred from the fact that the clearing was 
surrounded by a dense forest, which extended to the St Law- 
rence, and to a great distance to the east, west, and south, the 
nearest neighbor being at Evans' Mills, 9 miles, and Friends 
Settlement,? miles distant, to the former of which, a blind path 
led through the woods. Should the enemy make an incursion in 
force, the only chance of safety was in a strongly built log house, 
which had been erected for the storage of wheat, and which 
they had fitted for hasty barricades, should these be necessary; 
nor was this frontier station without incident. On the occasion 
of the affair of Goose Creek, in July, 1813, which we have 
more fully detailed in its place, Capt. Hoover rallied his com- 
pany in Le Ray, and took part in the action, which for the 
number engaged, conferred as much honor upon the American 
name as any that occurred in the war. The were 
marched past the little camp on their way to Sackets Harbor, 
and Capt. H. resumed his lonely vigil with no society but his 
wife, and hired man, a few trusty guns, and a plenty of anmiu- 
nition. A few days after, near sunset, being out a short distance 
in the border of the woods that separated the two clearings, in 
which were the stock he was watching, he noticed five of the 
enemy cautiously approaching, who, without noticing him, 
crept into a barn on the premises, to spend the night Not 
doubting but that they had come to spy out the weakness of the 
place, he returned, and securely fastened himself in his house, 
and at dawn crept out with his gun to watch their movements, 
and perhaps attempt some achievement if circumstances favored. 
Having taken a station a few rods from the clearing near the 
present corners of the roads, at the house of Mr. Fayel, he soon 
perceived the five soldiers approaching, and challenged them 
after the manner of a sentinel, demanding who they were, to 
which they replied "yhenck." He then ordered them to ad- 
vance, and lay down their arms, upon which two approached, 
and the others fled. These two he assured ^^ should not be mo« 
lested by his regiment," if they continued orderly and quiet, 
and having disarmed them, and mounted them upon horses, him- 
self fully armed, riding behind on a spirited horse, he conducted 
them to the camp at Sackets Harbor. 

In 1814, a bridge was built at the High Falls (Theresa), and 

Theresa. 245 

about 1818, a reservation of 1000 acres, was surveyed for Mr. 
Le Ray, by Musgrove Evans. In 1819, a grist mill was erected 
for Le Ray, and in 1819, a tavern, which the next year was 
burned. The town began to open for settlement at about this 
time, and the first inhabitants were not exposed to the incon- 
veniences of distant mills, as these were among the earliest im- 
provements. In an original map of the village, are the names 
of the following as first purchasers of lots. Azariah Walton 
5 acres on the east bank at the falls), Ebenezer Lull, Samuel 
[all, Mrs. Keeler, E. F. Cook, M. Huntington, H. Money, G. 
Locke and P. Lehman. Mr. Lull opened the first store here in 
1820. Among the first settlers in town were James ShurtlifF,* 
Anson Cheeseman, Marcius 6. Ashley, Col. Bull, and others. 
Dr. James Brooks settled as the first physician in 1822, and 
died the next year. 

The village of Theresa, on the west bank of Indian River, at 
the High Falls, possesses an immense water power, which has 
been but partially improved. There were in September, 1853, 
2 grist mills with nine run of stones, 3 saw mills, 2 furnaces and 
shops, 1 machine shop, 1 plaster mill, 1 shingle mill, 1 wagon 
shop, 1 clothing works, 2 cabinet shops, 4 dry good stores, 4 
groceries and drug stores,* 2 inns, 1 marble shop, 1 tin shop, 1 
tannery, 6 shoe shops, 4 blacksmith shops, 2 tailors, 2 saddlers, 
1 goldsmith, and about 600 inhabitants. There were 5 phy- 
sicians, 2 lawyers, and churches of the Presbyterian, Episcopal, 
and Methodist orders. The census of 1850, gave 101 houses, 
104 families, and 516 inhabitants. The lower fall is said to be 
G5t\ feet, and the total fall within a quarter of a mile about 85 
feet. The still water at the foot of the falls is, according to 
Broadhead's report, 66 feet above the St. Lawrence at Ogdens- 
borgh. From this place to Rossie, it is still water, and flows a 
considerable extent of swamp, which in certain seasons have 
occasioned sickness along the borders. There being no further 
obstruction to the draining of these drowned lands, than a reef 
of rocks adjacent to the old lead furnace at Kossie, the legislature 
was petitioned for the powers necessary for their removal. An 
act was accordingly passed on the 10th of April, 1850/ appoint- 
ing A. Fisher and Abram Morrow of Theresa, and George W. 
Clark of Alexandria, commissioners to remove the obstructions 
in Indian River that were alledged to cause sickness by flowing 
lands in the towns of Theresa and Rossie. The damages caused 
by the removal of these obstructions, with the cost of removal 
were to be assessed upon the lands to be benefited. The work 
not being effected under this act, another was passed. 

By an act of April 12th, 1852, Archibald Fisher, of Theresa, 

• Mr. 8. died at PleMis, Au^ast Ist, 1846, aged 79. 

246 Theresa. 

and Lawrence W. DeZeng of Redwood, in this county, and 
Abel P. Morse of Hammond were appointed commissioners to 
drain certain wet lands on Indian River in Rossie and Theresa, 
by removing a certain ledge of rocks at the smelting works to 
the depth of five feet, with other obstructions within three quar- 
ters of a mile below, including the dam at the Dayton Falls. 
Damages were to be assessed and paid by an assessment upon 
the lands to be benefited. Nothing has hitherto been accomplish- 
ed under the act, difficulties having occurred, it is said, in failing 
to agree with Mr. Parish upon the terms to be paid for the losses 
that will result to him in the water power in Rossie. 

A furnace was built near Mill Seat Lake, about one and a half 
miles from Redwood, in 1847, by Joseph C. Budd, Wm. Bonei^ 
and Samuel T. Hooker; the latter becoming an associate, while 
building. It was started in the fall of 1848, and run nine weeks, 
making two tons a day; a second blast was run in the spring of 
1849, of fourteen weeks, making three and a half tons a day, and 
a third blast in the spring of 1850, of fourteen weeks, making 
six tons a day. Since this time the furnace has laid idle. At 
the first two blasts the furnace was principally supplied by ore 
from the vicinity, with a little from the mines near the line of 
Philadelphia and Theresa. The third blast was with ores from 
the Kearney, Thompson, Sterling, and Sburtliff ore beds. The 
furnace is 30 feet square, 35 feet high, 8 feet 8 inches inside 
diameter, and cost with fixtures about $8000. It was supplied 
by the hot blast, and two tewels. No castings were made on the 

The town is underlaid by primary rock and Potsdam sandstone, 
the former exhibiting a succession of hills and deep valleys, while 
the latter presents a more uniform surface. Accumulations of 
drift cover these rocks in many places, but the soil is generally 
fertile. The inost remarkable feature in town is the number aiid 
romantic beauty of its lakes. In this and adjoining towns there 
are, within a radius of ten miles, nearly twenty lakes, of whieb 
Muskelunge, Red, Moose, Hyde, Mill Seat, Thompson, Sixbury, 
Grass, Mud, and Butterfield lakes are wholly or in part in this 
town. Most of them are surrounded on one or more sides by 
bold rocky shores, with deep bays, prolonged in woody swamps, 
and with rocky islands, densely covered with wood. These ro- 
mantic sheets of water, form delightful places of resort to the 
pleasure-seeking and sporting, where both fish and wild fowl 
afford attractive objects of pursuit, while the shores, overhanging 
cliffs, and tangled ravines, offer a perfect paradise to the geologist, 
and the mineral collector. The islands and shores of Muskelunge 
and Butterfield Lakes, in particular, are celebrated for the variety 
and number of their mineral productions. Most of these lakes are 

Watertcwn. 247 

apparently fed by springs, and one of them, (Thompson's Lake) 
has neither visible inlet nor outlet, yet abounds in fish. 

It is probable that the wild primitive portion of the county, 
may hereafter become one of interest for mining purposes, as the 
geological features of the section do not differ Irom thd^e of the 
adjoining town of Rossie, which has attained much celebrity for 
its lead mines. The indications of copper, and the well esta- 
blished fact of the presence of iron ore, I'avor this inference. 

'Religious Societies, — ^The Presbyterian Church of Theresa, 
was formed May 8, 1825, at the house of Abraham Morrow, of 
four males and eight females. The clergy have been Wm. B. 
Stowe, Roswell Pettibone, Lewis M. Shepard, Wm. Chittenden, 
Leemand Wilcox, Revilo Cone, Harvey Smith, W. Chittenden, 
and Chas. W. Treadwell. A society was formed Dec. 22, 1835, 
with James Shurtliff, Anson Ranney, and Nathan M. Howe, 
trustees; and these, with the Methodists, built in 1836-8, a church, 
which was completed at a cost of $1,800, and dedicated by the 
Rev. R. Pettibone and — Peck, of the two denominations, in 
Sept. 1838. In 1849, the Methodists having sold their interest 
ID the Union church, formed a society, and built a chapel, at a 
cost of about $2,200, which was completed and dedicated Sept 
14, 1850. A class had been formed in 1827. 

St. James* Churchy of Theresa (Episcopal), was organized July 
16, 1848, the place having been previously occupied by Rev. 
W. A. Fisk, as a mission, about a year. In 1850 there was re- 
ported a growing regard for the service, and an increase of 
numbers, and in the same summer was begun the erection of a 
Gothic church, after the plans of R. Upjohn, of N. Y., which was 
fiDished at a cost of $2,600, and consecrated Aug. 7, 1851. The 
incorporation of the church was obtained July 16, 1848, in which 
Horace Parker, and Daniel Parker, were named first wardens; 
and Willet R. Jarvis, P. B. Salisbury, Franklin Parker, Thomas 
Robinson, A. M. Ferris, E. W. Lewis, S. L. George, and Joseph 
T^yeXy vestrymen. The number of communicants was fifteen 
in 1850; nineteen in 1851; twenty-five in 1852. 

In erecting their edifice, this society received $250, from 
Trinity Church, N. Y., $125, from Hon. Wm. C. Pierrepont, and 
several sums of $25 each, from others in the county. Mr. Fish 
was succeeded by Rev. B. W. Whitcher, the present missionary. 


This town was organized from Mexico^ by the same act that 
created Champion, and other towns. March 14, 1800, the first 
town meeting being directed at the house of Asher Miller, who 
resided near what is now the centre of the town of Rutland. In 
the general statute describing the several towns of the state, 
p«B8ed April 7, 1801, we find the following: 

248. fVatertown. 

Leyden. ^^ And all that part of the said county of 06eida, 
bounded easterly by Remsen, southerly by Steuben, and westerly 
by Camden, Turin, Lowville, Champion, Watertown, and the west 
bounds of the state; and northerly by the county of Clinton, shall • 
be and continue a town by the name of Leyden.'* [This would em- 
brace the present town of Leyden, with the whole of Lewis Coun- 
ty, east of Black River, and all of Jefierson County, north of the 

Watertoion. " And all that part of the said county of Oneida, 
known and distinguished by townships, Nos. 1, 2, and 3, 
in a tract of land belonging to Henry Champion, and others, 
which said townships are bounded northerly by the Black 
River, westerly by Hungry Bay, so called, and southerly by 
townships Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 9, and easterly by township No. 4, 
all in the same tract, shall be and continue a town by the 
name of Watertown." 

The name of the town was, doubtless, suggested by the extra- 
ordinary amount and convenience of its water power, for which 
it will compare favorably with any place in the state. To this 
cause may be mainly attributed its early and rapid growth, and 
the superiority in wealth and business^ which it enjoys, far be- 
yond any other place in the county. 

By the erection of Rutland and Houndsfield, the original limits 
of the town have been reduced .to their present. A fire, which 
consumed the early records of the town, has prevented us from 
obtaining many interesting facts, which the town book is said to 
have contained. The following list of supervisors is taken in 
part from the records of the board, whfch begin with the organ- 
ization of the county in 1805. 

Supervisors. — 1805-8, Corlis Hinds; 1809-10, Tilley Richard- 
son; 1811, Wm. Smith; 18 12-9, Egbert Ten Eyck; 1820-6, Titus 
Ives; 1827, Jabez Foster; 1828, Titus Ives; 1829, Daniel Lee; 
1830-4, Henry H. Coffeen; 1835-7, Orville Hungerford; 1838- 
40, Joel Woodworth; 1841-2, O. Hungerford, 1843-5; John 
Winslow; 1846-7, Orville V. Brainard; 1848, Geo. C. Sherman; 
1849,Adviel Ely; 1850 Kilborn Hannahs; 1851, 0. Hunger- 
ford; 1852, Robert Lansing; 1853, David D.Otis. 

This town was surveyed by Benjamin Wright, in 1796, into 
fifiy-two lots, of from 450 to 625 acres, having a total area of 
26,485 acres. A subsequent survey by Robert McDowell gave 
26,667 acres. In 1801 it was subdivided by Joseph Crary, 
under the direction of Silas Stow. A mortgage upon this town, 
in common with Low and Company'^ Purchase, was canceled by 
William and Ann Constable, and the President and Directors of 
the Bank of New-York, March 18, 1802. Upon the division of 
these towns, this, with Adams and Lowville, fell to the share of 

fVatertown. 349 

Nicholas Low, under whom it has been settled. The first agent 
employed was Silas Stow, who was followed in 1804 by M. S. 
Miller, and in March, 1806, the latter was succeeded by Isaac W. 
Bostwick, Esq., all of Lowville. The lands in this town have 
long since been sold out, and nearly or quite settled up and con- 
veyed, a$ freeholds. It will be interesting to notice the remarks 
of Wm. Wright on the survey of this town into lots, which are 
gi?en with more detail than in his general report, from having 
surveyed the boundaries of the towns only, and which we have 
given on page 65. 

" Township No. 2, on Black River, is situated about three miles 
from the mouth of the river. This river is navigable for bateaux 
about one-and-three-quarters miles, but yet with considerable 
difficulty, it may be ascended two-and-a-half miles. The soil of 
this township is excellent in general, and, indeed, there is very 
little but what might be truly called first quality. Timber — ma- 
ple, beach, bass, elm, ash, butternut, and some pine, of excellent 

There are excellent mill seats along Black River, where they 
are noted on the map, and many more, which it is impossible to 
note with certainty, as the river the whole distance on the town 
is very rapid, except at the north-east corner, for about three-quar- 
ters of a mile. The river is very rocky along the whole distance, 
and appears to be a bed of limestone rocks. Along the banks of 
Black lliver, opposite No: 2 township, is cedar and hemlock, 
and, in some places, white pine, for about twenty or thirty 
rods, and from thence it rises to very handsome land, and tim- 
bered with maple, bass, beech, &c. 

At the north-west corner is some fiat rock, which lies about 
eight inches under the surface, and which is full of large cracks, 
open about ten or twelve inches." 

Of the lots upon which the village of Watertown has been 
built, he remarked: 

7. ^'This is a very good lot, and has excellent mill seats on the 
river, without expensive dams, and with the greatest safety to 
the mills. 

8. This is a very good lot, and is well timbered; has fine mill 
seats, and land of the first quality; some few stone and some pine 

9. (Above village.) This is an excellent lot, some beautiful 
land aloBg the east line, and some pine timber on the south; some 
maple, beech, bass, elm, and iron wood. 

10. (Corner lot.) This is an excellent lot; has a fine flat along 
the beach, which is very fine soil." 

Settlements commenced in Watertown, in March, 1800, at 


250 Watertown. 

Mvhich time Henry CofTeen/ and Zachariah Butlerfield, haying 
the fall previous visited the town and purchased ffirms, removed 
with their families from Schuyler, Oneida County, and began 
improvements on the site of Watertown Village. Coflfeen was the 
first to arrive, having penetrated from Lowville through the woods, 
with his family and household goods drawn on an ox sled. He 
had purchased parts of lots 2, 3, 13, 21, and 165 acres on the 
westerly part of lot No. 7, now covered by Watertown Village. 

He erected his hut on the ground just west of the Iron Blocks 
and Butterfield settled on the spot now covered by the Merchants* 
Exchange, newly erected on the corner of Washington Street 
and the Public Square. Oliver Bartholomewf arrived in town, 
in March, 1800, and settled one and a half miles from the present 
village of Brownville. Simeon and Benjamin Woodruff, and 
others visited the town, with the view of settlement, and in the 
ensuing winter but three families wintered in town, viz: Cofieen, 
Bartholomew, and Butterfield. The land books of Mr. Low 
show the following list of purchasers, of which there may be 
some who were not actual settlers. 

' 1799, May 16, John Whitney, 450 acres on lot 8, at $2-50 
per acre; this probably reverted. In Oct., E. Allen, Silas Alden, 
S. and B. Woodruff, Jas. Rogers, O. Bartholomew, Thos. Delano, 
Elisha Gustin, Z. Butterfield. In 1800, Heman Pellit, Thos. and 
John Sawyer, John Blevan, Abram Fisk, Wm. Lampson, Joseph 
Tuttle, N. Jewett, J. Wait, Abram Jewett, Hart Massey, Joseph 
Wadley, Jonathan Bentley, J. Sikes, S. Norris,Chas. Galloway, 
Jonathan Talcott, Josiah Bentley, Frend Dayton, John Patrick, 
David Bent, Luther Demming, Ephraim Edwards, Tilson Bar- 
rows, Thomas Butterfield, J. and L. Stebbins, Asaph Mather, 
Benj. Allen, E. Lazelle, Henry Jewett, Lewis Drury, St Fay, 
— Stanley, James Glass, Ira Brown, W. P. and N. Crandall, 
Calvin Brown, Aaron Bacon, Bennet Rice, Thos. H. Biddlecom. 

During the following season, many of these persons, who were 
mostly from Oneida County, settled, and in 1802, Jonathan 
Cowen| began the erection of a grist mill, at the bridge that 
crosses to Beebe's Island. The extraordinary water power which 
this place presented, afforded ground for the expectation, that it 
would become the centre of a great amount of business. The first 
deeds were given August 20, 1802, to Efijah Allen, Jotham Ives 

* A native of Vermont, but for several years a resident of Schajlcr, 
Oneida County. 

t Deacon Bartholomew was bom in Connecticut, October 20, 1757 \ serred 
through the Revolution; settled in Oneida County in 1794, and died in Water- 
town, June 18, 1850. In 1803 he assisted in forming one of the first Baptist 
Churches in the County. 

X Cowen was a mill wright, and an uncle of Judge Eseck Cowen, of Saratogm 
County. He died near Evans' Mills, November 27, L840, at the age of 80. 

Waiericwn. 251 

J)a?id Bern, Ezra Parker, William Parker, Joseph Tuttle, and 
Joseph. Moors. 

Durme the first summer of the settlement, it heing entirely 
impossible to procure grinding at any mills, nearer than Canada, 
a stump standing on the Public Square, a few rods east of the 
American Hotel, had been formed into a mortar, and with a 
spring pole and pestle attached, served the purpose of a grain 
mill to the settlement. This primitive implement, suggestive of 
rustic life, and the privations of a new colony, relieved the 
pioneers, in some decree, from the necessity of long journeys to 
mill, through a pathless forest. The hardships of diis early pe« 
riod had a tendency to create a unity of feeling and sympathy 
from the strong sense of mutual dependence which it engendered, 
and which is recalled by the few survivors of the period, with 
emotions of gratitude, for the manifest mercies of Providence. 
These hardy adventurers were mostly poor. They possessed few 
of the comforts of life, yet they had few wants. The needful ar- 
ticles of the household were mostly made by their own hands, 
and artificial grades of society were unknown. The first death 
of the settlement is thus described by J. P. Fitch, in the preface 
of the first village directory, published in 1840: 

" Late at the close of a still sultry day, in summer, Mrs. L 
Thornton, the wife of one of the young settlers, gave the alarm 
that her husband had not returned from the forest, whither he 
had gone in the afternoon, to procure a piece of timber. Imme- 
diately every man in the settlement answered to the call, and 
hastened to the place designated for meeting, to concert a plan 
for search. Here all armed themselves with torches of lighted 
pine knots, or birch bark, and calling every gun in the place into 
use for firing alarms, and signals, started out in small companies 
into the forest, in all directions. After a search of several hours, 
the preconcerted signal gun announced that the " lost was 
found." All hurried to the spot, and upon the ground where 
now stands the Black River Institute, crushed beneath a tree 
which he had felled, lay the lifeless body of their companion. He 
was laid upon a bier hastily prepared for the occasion, and con- 
veyed through the gloom of midnight, by the light of their torch- 
es, back to his house. What must have been the emotion of the 
bereaved young widow, when the mangled corpse of her husband, 
so suddenly fallen a victim to death, was brought in and laid 
before her! She did not, however, mourn alone. As the remains 
were borne to their last resting place — the first grave that was 
opened in Trinity Churchyard — it needed no sable emblems of 
mourning to tell of the grief that hung dark around every heart 
Each one of the little company, as he returned from performing 
the last duties to his departed companion,ye/^ as if from his own 

253 JVatertoum. 

family one had been taken. A similar incident occurred a short: 
time after, in the death of a child which was killed by the lialling^ 
of a tree, on the pre^nt site of the court-house; thus designating 
with blood, as one can imagine, the location of the halls of Jus- 
tice, and Science, in our village, and consecrating the ground of 
each by a human sacrifice." 

In 1802 an inn was opened by Dr. Isaiah Massey, and settlers 
began to locate in every part of the town, which, in September 
of that year, numbered 70 or 80 families. A dam was built by 
Cowan in 1802, and in 1803, he got in operation a small grist 
mill. During two or three succeeding years, John Paddock, 
Chauncey Calhoun, Philo Johnson, Jesse Doolittle, William 
Smith, Medad Canfield, Aaron Keyes, Wm. Huntington,* John 
Hathaway, Seth Bailey, Gershon Tuttle, and others, several of 
whom were mechanics, joined the settlement, and at a very early 
day, a school house was built on the site of the Universalist 
Church, which served also as a place of religious meetings. In 
'*1805, John Paddock and William Smith opened the first store in 
the plaee, their goods being brought from Utica in wagons. An 
idea may be had of the hardships of that period, compared with 
modern facilities, from the fact that in March, 1807, seventeen 
sleighs, laden with goods for Smith and Paddock, were 23 days 
in getting from Oneida County to Watertown, by way of Redfield. 
The snows were in some places seven feet deep, and the valleys 
almost impassable, from wild torrents resulting from the melting 
of snows. The winter had been remarkable for its severity, and 
the destructive spring floods. 

Many incidents connected with the early settlement of this 
town, have been published in the Jeffersoniauy over the sig- 
nature of A Link in the Chain, which were written by Afr. 
Solon Massey, whose father. Hart Massey, we have frequent 
occasion to mention as a pioneer and prominent citizen of the 
county. We regret our inability to publish more extended ex- 
tracts from these interesting articles, but take the liberty of 
using the following, which will give some idea of the perils that 
surround the first settlers of a new country. 

Lost in the Woods. — ^To any person who realises what a 
dense howling wilderness this, country was, at the time of its 
first occupation by our fathers, it will not be surprising that tha« 
were instances, rather frequent, of persons being loH in the 

The natural divisions of hill and dale, or upland and lowland, 
in this comparative level country, afforded but few landmarks to 
the unlucky wight who happened to get at fault in his reckon- 

* Died at WatertowD, May 11, 1842, aged 85. He was a native of ToUaad, 
Ct. In 1784 he removed to N. H., and in 1804, to Watertown. 

Watertoum. 253 

iags, and even those \?ho were best acquainted with the natural 
scenery of the trackless forest, immediately surrounding our 
settlement, were sometimes compelled to experience the startling 
reality of being lost in the woods; which was indicated by find- 
ing themselves following a circle — coming round and round and 
round again, to the same starting point, in spite of all their ef- 
forts to follow out a continuous straight course. 

This liability to be lost was so well understood, that whenever 
any member of the family was longer away in the forest than 
was expected, the alarm was given, and a rally made of all the 
men and boys in the different settlements in the vicinity, and a 
general and systematic search instituted with preconcerted sig- 

And yet the liability to get lost did not deter or prevent fre- 
quent intercourse with the woods. The forest was the '^ Ion? 
pasture " where the cows lived in summer, and where they haa 
to be hunted over long ranges of upland, or of swale and beaver 
meadow, as their fancy or necessity led them to forage for them- 
selves. It was the botanic garden where a long list of medicinal 
plants were found, which were relied upon as preventives of 
the diseases that were incident to our new country, or as a sov- 
ereign balm for every wound with which we might be afflicted 
for the time being. It was the place for berrying for a great 
variety of fruits and berries in their season-^the great range 
irom which we hunted out our natural crooked scythe snaths, our 
crotched trees for harrows and cart tongues, our axe helves, ox 
yoke and ox bow timber, broom sticks, &c., &c.; and, finally, it 
was the great hunting ground for a variety of wild game, with 
which to supply our taUes with meat, in the absence of domes- 
tic animals, for food. Woods was the rule, clearings the ex- 

One incident among a great many others, connected with be- 
ing lost in the woods, may be transcribed from the earliest tradi- 
tional history of our town, and which is something as follows: 

Capt James Parker owned and occupied a large body of land 
(now a farm.) on the Brownville road, at present occupied in part 
by his son James. He had a large family of sturdy boys, the 
oldest of whom, at the time our tradition dates, was fourteen to 
sixteen years of age. The old gentleman, like many others of 
oar enterprising settlers, was clearing up a large farm, and, for 
the purpose of making the most out of his ashes, had small pot- 
ssh works, where he worked them into potash or black salts. 

In the process of manufacture, it seems he wanted some hem- 
lock gum, and at the same time wanted some groceries from the 
little place ycleped a store here in the village. So handing the 
hero of our story a silver dollar, he bid him take his axe and a 

254 JVatertown. 

bag, and on his way to or from the store to procure some gum. 
With this errand and equipment he started, alter dinner, on bis 
"way to this place; he proceeded as far as the foot of the Folts 
Hill (H. H. Coflfeen's late residence), where, stretching away to 
the south was an abundance of hemlock timber, and intent on 
performing the hardest and most difficult part of bis task first, 
and not wishing to risk losing the dollar, he struck his axe into 
a large tree and loosening a chip he carefully deposited the coin 
in the cavity between the loosened chip and the body of the tree 
for safe keeping, intending to come back to that starting point 
with his axe and bag, and leave them there in their turn, while 
he run up to the store and back. 

Well, after a w^hile he found himself sufficiently provided with 

fum, and started off at a kind of Indian lope for the place where 
e had left the dollar, passing in his way a spring of water, up- 
on the surface of which was a thick yellow scum, resembling 
iron rust. On, on, on he traveled, sweating under his load, and 
with the lurking suspicion that something was wrong, he didn't 
know what. After a good while, however, and when he knew 
he must have traveled more than any distance that could possi- 
bly have been between the last gum tree and the one containing 
his dollar, he made a full halt for the purpose of a reckoning. 
One thing waswery certain — that he had traveled faster coming 
back than when going, and had been longer about it. That had 
a bad look I then he thought it curious there should have been 
three of those iron ore springs, looking so nearly alike ! And 
finally, the more he soliloquized the more he satisfied himself 
that he was lost. 

What added not a little to his perplexity was, that twilight 
was already spreading her mantle upon the forest. It would 
therefore be necessary for him to select where he would spend 
the night, so far as there was any choice of a sheltered place in 
the woods. He was not long in finding a large standing tree 
that afforded just the nook he wanted, between two roots that 
stood well out on either side, and having ensconced himself in a 
sitting posture, with his back against the tree, and the axe be- 
tween his knees, he prepared to face any. danger that might offer, 
and to sleep away the long hours of night. He would have 
telegraphed the folks at home that he was safe, if he could. He 
hoped they would not be much alarmed. But they were though, 
and after sunset the old gentleman got uneasy and started out 
the way that he should come, just to meet him — if he was safe 
— but with a kind of presentiment, to succor him if in trouble. 
He kept on, occasionally stopping to listen, and sweating with 
apprehension, and imagining a whole catalogue of mishaps that 
might have befallen him — whether he had lost his way — or bad 

fFatertown. 255 

maimed himself with the axe — or a tree had fallen upon him — 
or, what was certainly possible, some ravenous wild beast had 
devoured him — all was a matter of painful doubt, fear, and un- 

It was not, however, until after he had reached the village, 
and found by enquiry that his boy had not been there, that his 
fearful forebodings of some horrid evil were confirmed. 

Giving the alarm here, and begging of the good people to ral- 
ly quick and meet such persons as he should succeed in obtain- 
ing from Brownville, he hastened home in such a state of mind 
as can be better imagined than described. 

Until his arrival home, the family had not partaken very much 
of his own alarm, but now, what a sad and sorrowful company 
are they, as hurriedly they make the necessary preparation, with 
pine knots and birch bark for torches, horns and guns for sig- 
nals, and refreshments for the missing boy if he should be found, 
and for the kind neighbors who were in all probability to be in 
the woods all niehu 

In due time, a large company of men and boys were assembled, 
and having organized into bands, with preconcerted signals, 
they strucK ofiTinto the forest, while the mother and sisters of 
the missing boy sat in the open door of their lonely tenement 
to await the slow and tedious result, and so as to be in a situa- 
tion to catch the first sound of any signal guns announcing the 
fate of him they loved. 

Thus passed the first half of the night The hunt proceeded 
with great fidelity, so that every rod of the ground was inspect- 
ed, the horns sounding at regular intervals of time, so as to pre- 
serve the line of march, or to catch the ear of the boy if perad- 
venture he was alive. 

The party had proceeded on carefully, until within a few rods 
of where the hero of the play kept his night vigil, before his 
dreams were disturbed and he sufficiently awake to know that 
it was for his benefit that the horns were sounded ; but when 
fairly awake, he was not long in vacating his quiet retreat, and 
arresting the further progress of the search, by presenting him- 
self in propria persoruBy with his axe on his shoulder and gum 
bag under his arm, before the satisfied cavalcade. 

Bang ! bang ! bang ! rung out in quick succession upon 
the night air, reverberating to each extremity of the long line 
of weary hunters, the preconcerted signal, which notified the 
quick ear of the listening mother and sisters that Ellick was 
safe. There was more joy manifested that night over the boy 
that was found than over all them that went not astray. 

A Link in the Chain. 

256 Watertoion. 

A Man shot by his Friend, — ^In the fall of 1801, there was 
a man, ^hose name was Dayton, who obtained a contract for a 
piece of land, lying south of the road to Brownville, as you 
climb the Folts Hill. He built a small Jog house in the woods, 
near the present road, and was keeping bachelor's hall, through 
the months of September and October of that year, with no 
other companion than a young man who was brother to his wife. 
He was intending to remove his family here in the spring, but, 
as it turned out, he lacked the fortitude and courage which were 
requisite for pioneer life. 

While thus living, an event occurred, which, for the time be- 
ing, quickened the pulses of the entire community, and which 
seemed more like tragedy than any previous occurrence in our 
brief history. 

There was a project for a squirrel hunt, among the scattered 
inhabitants of the several neighborhoods, and Dayton and his 
brother-in-law were expecting to participate in the general war 
against the squirrels and other vermin, who were likely to get 
more than a fair proportion of the first corn crop ever cultivated 
in these wilds — though they themselves had no cornfields. And 
here we remark by the way, how unselfish men become, as soon 
as they get beyond the old settlements. Mutual dependence soon 
exerts a softening influence upon the human heart, and the sym- 
pathies flow out without stint as often as the sufferings present 
themselves for aid or sympathy. This, probably, is the clue to 
that proverbial happiness, which in all ages and in all countries, 
dates back to the pioneer settlements in a new country. 

With the purpose of having his gun in readiness for the ap- 
proaching hunt, Mr. Dayton took it down one evening, from its 
place over-head, and sitting down before the blazing fire, laid 
it across his knees, preparatory to taking off the lock and oiling 
its pinions, so as to insure a smart motion of the hamm^ spring. 
He was not aware that it contained a full charge of pot^der and 
shot, or that it was loaded at all; but carelessly held the muzzle 
towards his friend, who was sitting in the other comer of the 
fire-place, keeping up a cheerful light, by timely contributions 
of light, dry combustibles, to the open fire. It is probable that 
he pulled the trigger without thought or motive; but what was 
his horror and amazement, when his piece discharged, with a 
report that was almost deafening, filling the room with smoke, 
and when he heard his companion fall to the floor, exclaiming 
**/ am shot ! I am shot .'" 

They had no light but the open fire, and the smoke was so 
thick and suffocating that no examination could be made. It 
was all uncertain, what the extent of the injury might be; but 
knowing that Doctor Isaiah Massey had recently arrived from 

fVatertaum. 357 

VennoDt to^dMire our fortunes with us, and that he was boarding 
at our yilljipteTem, it was agreed that Dayton should find his 
way throiq^^be dark pine woods which intervened, and bring 
the doctor. 

My father had some com collected from his field, and with the 
male members oC his family — ^kind men and boarders — doctor 
included, was in the house (log barn), husking; and my mother 
was keeping her night vigils alone in the house, when her ear 
detected the quick, hurried step of Mr. Dayton, as he rushed into 
the door, exclaiming, ** I have killed my brother ^ and want the 
doctor f^^ As soon as he was sufficiently composed to state his 
case understandingly, he was directed to the husking party, for 
the doctor, while my mother, as if by instinct, set herself about 
preparing some clean linen rags, for bandages and lint, and some 
tallow candles for lights, with which our young Esculapius was 
soon on his way, on horseback and alone, to answer to the first 
ci^e of surgery and gun shot wounds which had presented itself 
in his pioneer practice. 

He was evidently a good deal flurried, as he struck into the 
woods in advance of his guide, to endeavor to thread his dubi- 
ous way; and he was frequently heard to say, afterwards, that it 
was the greatest trial his nerves had ever endured. 

For aught he knew (and in the circumstances of the case, as 
narrated by the afifrighted Dayton, a thing quite probable), his 
patient was already dead, and stiffened in his gore, an object 
frightful enough, to be visited alone, by broad day light; how 
much more, in the dim light of any embers which might be left » 
in that lonely house in the woods. 

His near approach to the house, which he after a while sue- 
eeeded in finding, did not alleviate his feelings much; for now, 
the case must be met^ whatever may be its developments. The 
idea of^tftumbling over a dead man, in his efforts to strike a 
light, o^f groping about the room in search of a mutilated hu- 
man being, was all his nerves would bear, and he trembled in his 

He however grew ashamed of his fear, and, after listening a 
moment at the door, tapped gently for admittance : there was 
no answer. He lifted the latch and pressed his weight against 
the door, but it was fastened on the inside. He knocked again. 
* Who is there ?" said the young man. " The doctor." " Wait 
a minute and I will open the door,'' said he, as he crawled off 
his couch and proceeded to take away the barricade with which 
he had fastened the door. He apologized for the delay, by say- 
ing that he had heard that wolves were attracted by the smell 
of blood, and that finding himself bleeding pretty profusely, he 
had thought it pnident to fasten himself in. 

258 fVatertown. 

It proved to be a case of no imminent danger, after all. The 
charge of shot from the gun had penetrated the fleshy part of 
the thigh of the young man, and after a proper dressing, for 
which the forethought of my mother had amply provided them, 
the young doctor mounted his horse and returned to the village, 
where he soon succeeded in allaying the fears of the community, 
by his professional opinion that he would recover, with proper 
care. ^ Link in the Chain, 

Ji Wolf Story of Early Times. — In the brief history that 
I wrote out for your paper two or three weeks ago, from the 
early traditions of our town, describing a scene, which was 
almost a tragedy, between a Mr. Dayton and his brother-in-law, 
at the foot of the Folts Hill, on the Brownville road, I stated, 
that the wounded man had taken the precaution to fasten his 
door on the insidey so as to prevent the ingress of wolves who 
might be attracted by the smell of bloody while Mr. Dayton was 
after the doctor. 

I know it is somewhat difficult for the present generation to 
comprehend the situation of peril in which scattering families 
were placed at that early day, or that there was any real and 
positive danger of molestation by the wolves; and, therefore, I 
shall transcribe another incident, in the traditions of early men 
and early times, which will tend to correct any doubts upon that 

The late Hon. Jotham Ives was among the early emigrants 
, into this town. He arrived here in 1801, and located his nome, 
where he lived to amass a large landed property, and where he 
died, recently, near the place called Field Settlement. 

In the fall of 1802, he had a number of hogs fattened, and at 
killing time he employed a Mr. Knowlton, an old, white-haired 
man of sixty years or more, who was somewhat filled in butch- 
ering, to assist him. Knowlton lived about three-foimhs of a 
mile from Mr. Ives, in the near neighborhood of the present 
residence of Mr. James Brintnall, where he had a little clearing, 
or what was perhaps more appropriately called, in backwoods 
phrase, a chopping, and which was surrounded by a temporary 
brush fence. Between himself and Mr. Ives there was no road; 
and nothing but a line of marked trees to designate the little 
footpath which meandered through the deep, dark, and in many 
places tangled forest, which stretched off almost interminably on 
either hand. 

The butchering over, and supper disposed of, it was agreed 
that there was time to cut up the pork, and Mr. Knowltop con- 
sented to stay and assist in doing so. At a late hour, the whole 
work was finally completed, and Mr. Knowlton iiras generously 

fVatertoum. 259 

compensated for his Talaed services, in addition to which he was 
made welcome to a couple of the hogs' plucks, to carry home to 
his family. 

But as he was about to leave for home, Mrs. Ives suggested 
the hazard of passing through the woods, at that late hour, with 
the smell of blood upon his clothes; and invited him to stay all 
night; to which Knowlton answered, that he could not think of 
being away from his family all night, as they would be alarmed 
for his safety, being unable to account for his absence^ that, as 
for the wolves, though they might prowl around his path, they 
would not dare to molest him. 

Now Mr. Ives was a man of great muscular power, and would 
not fear a regiment of wolves himself, and though he assured 
Mr. Knowlton that he might stay in welcome, yet he scouted the 
idea of danger from the sneaking cowardly wolves; he advised 
him, however, that in case he should be followed by them, to 
leave the plucks for them to quarrel over, while he should hurry 
on home. 

The colloquy being ended, Knowlton finally took his leave 
with a pluck in each hand, and struck into the woods, to endea- 
vor to follow out his little foot path. He had not proceeded far, 
however, before a sharp and startling sound, a fearful howl, rang 
oat upon the night air, evidently betokening the near neighbor- 
hood of a prowling wolf on his right, which was answered from 
another quarter, and then another, in quick succession, until the 
path, that he had traveled but a' moment before, seemed to be 
alive with hungry seekers after blood. 

He had yet no fears for his personal safety, and had no thought 
of cowardice; but yet he confessed that there was something 
dismal in the thought of being alone and entirely unarmed, at 
such a time, and in such a place, groping and feeling his dubi- 
ous way in such close proximity to a pack of ravenous wild 
beasts; and he soon found himself quickening his pace, while 
ever and anon he instinctively cast a wistful eye over his shoulder, 
and into the recesses of the thick woods on either hand. 

It was not long, however, that any doubt remained about his 
being the object of their pursuit, as his quick ear detected the 
galloping movement of a troop of pattering feet on his track, 
and it was becoming more and more a question of interest with 
him how the chase would terminate. 

He hoped, when he reflected that he was nearing his own 
habitation every moment, and his path was becoming plainer, 
and he was able to make better progress. But the odds was 
with them, for they were lighter of foot, and could see a great 
deal better than he could in the gloom of the forest; but, more 
than all, they we^e so many, and were^ mad with hunger, and 

260 fVatertown. 

were becoming more and more desperate every moment 
on, on, the old man strode, resolutely, and with a strength an 
speed which would have surprised him at any other time, 
by daylight, but which seemed slow enough, now in the time o 
his extremity. 

If he could but keep them at bay a little longer, and until h 
could clear the dark woods and get the benefit of the compara 
tively open light of his chopping, or lay his hand upon som 
strong hand spike, or sled stake, or billet of wood, he might stilL 
hope to defend himself successfully, or escape from their hungry^ 
jaws. Straining every nerve, he bounded onward with such agility 
as only desperation and love of life afford; but the distance between 
hun and his pursuers was not lessened by all his efforts; and 
before he reached the brush fence that surrounded his peaceful 
home, he felt that his time had nearly cqrne, when he' bethought 
himself of the parting advice of his friend Ives. 

He acted upon the suggestion, and immediately hurled one of 
the plucks into their midst; in the next moment he was on the 
home side of his brush fence, and they were fighting over the 
paltry price with which he had purchased his own safety. It 
may be safely assumed that he did not wait to witness the result 
of the ciyil war which he had occasioned, but that as soon as 
possible he found himself on the inside of his rude domicile with 
the door fastened on the inside. 

Mr. Knowlton lived many years after the event which I have 
narrated, and died a natural death; and the woods which were 
the scene of our story have long since been cleared away, and 
the wolves are only known as figuring in the history of the 
olden time. ji Link in the Chain, 

In 1803, a bridge was built below the village near the court 
house, by Henry Coffeen and Andrew Edmunds, over which the 
state road afterwards passed, and in 1805 the dam was built 
below the bridge, at which, the same year, a saw mill was built 
on the north side, and in 1806 a grist mill by Seth Bailey and 
Gershom Tuttle. A saw mill was built on the Watertown side 
by R. & T. Potter, a little below, and a saw and grist mill soon 
after by H. H. Coffeen, since which time many mills have been 
erected along the river. 

It is a singular fact that the village of Watertown, in conmion 
with the whole county of Jefferson, while it vies in wealth and 
enterprise with the most favored portions of the state, owes very 
little if any thing to imported capital. In most instances the 
wealth now existing has been acquired on the spot, by those 
who at an early period were thrown upon their own immediate 
exertions for support, and from the ashes of the timber that 

street in Watertown, held, earJy in 1805, an informal 
g, and agreed to give forever to the public for a public 
piece of land twelve rods wide, and twenty-eight long, 
3ther running south at right angles to this, nine rods wide, 
oat thirty-two long. They then directed to be made by 
Simons, a surveyor, a map of the premises, which was 
md deposited in the town clerk's office, but this was after- 
lost. An attempt was subsequently made to resume the 
nd sell portions of the public square, but the question 
; come into the courts, was decided by Judge Nathan 
ms in favor of the public, as Mr. Cowen, the claimant, 
rh he had never deeded land on the public square, yet he 
jcnowledged its existence, by bounding certain convey- 
npon it.* In the same year, the site of the court house 
termined by the commissioners appointed by the governor 
tpurpose, not without the most active influences being 
: Brownville, and it is said to have been located in its 
: site, at some distance below the business portion of the 
, by way of compromise. 

rvfUey on a branch of Sandy Creek, derives its name from 
Inrr, and several sons,f who first settled here about 1802. 
ace was considered very valuable for its water power, and 
le first mills in Watertown were erected in accordance with 
sement between Silas Stow, agent for Low, the proprietor, 
in Massey, dated June 1st, 1801, by which they were to 
uring that season, a saw mill, and corn mill, to be owned 
r between them. The latter was to furnish three acres of 
id erect the mills, and the former to furnisn provisions, 
mill stones, and expenses generally, the expenses to be 
led at the end of building. They were accordingly built 

262 fVatertoum. 

mostly of mature years, and some of them with families, settl^ 
here in 1806. Jotham, Titus,* and Joel Ives, three brothers, ha^ 
located in the vicinity four years previous. Near the centre or 
the town. Major Allen, Aaron Brown, Corlis Hinds, Tillej 
Richardson, Reuben Scott, James and Eli Rogers, Benjamin 
Green, and others, and near Burrville, the Hungerford families, 
Caleb and Nathaniel Burnham and many more. 

An act of 1808, directed 500 stand of arms to be deposited 
at Champion, the destination of which was by an act of March 
27th, 1809, changed to Watertown, and an arsenal erected in 
that year. The arsenal was built under the direction of Hart 
Massey, Esq., collector of the district of Sackets Harbor, at an 
expense of $1,940*99. It has given its i^me to the street on 
which it stands, which was previously called Columbia Street^ 
and was maintained by the state as an arsenal, until sold under 
the act of April 9th, 1850. The brick of which it was built 
were furnished by Abraham Jewett, at a cost of $339'63; the 
stone were cut by Thaddeus Smith and Joseph Cook, ai a cost 
of $110*80, and the lime by David Stafford and Benjamin 
Goodale, at 22 cents per bushel. 

In Watertown as in other sections, the manufacture of potash 
formed the first means of realizing cash, and many paid in whole 
or in part for their lands by this means. In 1806, $3,500; in 
1807, $6000; and in 1808, $9000 worth of this staple was ex- 
changed, the market being at that time in Montreal. In 1810, 
the firm of Paddock and Smith purchased 2800 barrek, 
averaging $40 per barrel, making for that period the enormous 
aggregate of $112,000. The embargo which preceded the war 
did not prevent but rather increased the trade, by the high prices 
that it created, but the declaration of war entirely prostrated 
that, and every other energy of the country, except that the 
military operations of that period required large supplies of 
provisions and forage for the armies on this frontier. At Water- 
town, bodies of troops were stationed for short periods, and the 
sick were often sent thither for that attendance which could not 
be secured at Sackets Harbor. In 1811, the citizens had adopted 
measures for securing the benefits of an academy, and erected on • 
the site of the First Presbyterian Church, a brick building for 
that purpose, which will be again mentioned in our account of 
academies. This building was used as a hospital for a consider- 
able time. 

Soon after the war, there occurred in this village an event 
wjiich excited extraordinary interest throughout the country, and 
of which many accounts have been published, more or less ap- 

* Dr. Titus Ives died February 12th, 1847 of apoplexy, aged 69. Jotham 
Ives settled in 1800, and is said to have raised the first crop of wheat in town. 

fVaterUmm. 263 

proximating to the truth, but none to our knowledge giving the full 
and correct details. Had the subject depended upon us alone, to 
give it publicity, it might have been properly passed over, as one 
of those events that should be forgotten, in charity to the memory 
of the dead, and feelings of surviving relatives, but as it has been / 
so often repeated that we do not imagine it in our power to give 
it wider notoriety, and knowing that the public would expect a 
notice of the event, we have labored to procure a correct ver- 
sion. The narrative may effect a useful purpose, by exhibiting 
the extent to which one error leading to another will betray one, 
at the same time serving as an instructive lesson to warn 
against any deviation from the path of honor, or the listening to 
suggestions that compromise principle. 

Samuel Whittlesey, originally from Tolland, Ct., had removed, 
about 1807, to Watertown, and engaged in business as a lawyer. 
On the 12th of February, 1811, he received the appointment of 
district-attorney for the territory comprised in Lewis, Jefferson 
and St Lawrence counties, and on the 9th of February, 1813, 
he was superseded by the appointment of Amos Benedict, who 
had preceded him. Events connected with this, led to some 
sympathy for him, and the office of brigade-paymaster, which 
had been tendered to Mr. Jason Fairbanks, was by him declined 
in favor of Whittlesey, and he, with Perley Keyes, became secu- 
rity for the honest discharge of the duties of the office. At the 
close of the war, a large amount of money being due to the 
drafted militia, for services on the frontier, Whittlesey went to 
New York, accompanied by his wife, to obtain the money, and 
received at the Mechanics' Bank in that city, $30,000, in one, 
two, three, five and ten dollar bills, with which he started to re- 
turn. At Schenectady, as was afterwards learned, his wife* re- 
ported themselved robbed of $8,700, an occurrence which great- 
ly distressed and alarmed him, but she advised him not to make 
it public at that moment, as they might otherwise better take 
steps that might lead to its recovery, and on the way home, she 
ID an artful and gradual manner persuaded him, that if they 

* This vicious woman had got her husband embroiled in repeated difficulties 
in Connecticut^ and for these be had been compelled to remove. During the 
war, Lieut. Col. Tuttle, being taken sick at Sackets Harbor, was sent to Wa- 
tertown and placed in Whittlesey's family Tor nursing. He grew worse, and 
died very soon alter, under suspicious circumstances, and although he was sup- 
posed to have large sums of money, none was found. Mrs. Whittlesey, not 
long after, had money to let. Numerous anecdotes are related which prove her 
to bive been exceedingly vain, penurious and vicious. With decided abilities, 
uid a good education, she possessed a moral depravity, and evinced the absence 
of those virtues that adorn the sex, to a degree that has been seldom equalled. 
Her treatment to a domestic had been so barbarous as to call for the interfer- 
ence of the humane ; her ostentatious airs disgusted whoever came into her 
presence, and her licentious tongue embroiled her neighborhood in quarrels. 

264 * Watertown. 

should report the robbery of a part of the money, no oncf wouU 
believe it, as a thief would have taken the whole, if any. lo 
short (to use a homely proverb), she urged that they might m 
well ^^die for an old sheep as a lamb^^ and keep the rest, as tbc] 
would inevitably be accused of taking a part. Her artifice, en- 
forced by the necessities of the case, took effect, and he suffered 
himself to become the dupe of his wife, who was doubtless the 
chief contriver of the movements which followed. Accord ingly^ 
on his reaching home he gave out word that his money had be^ 
procured, and would be paid over as soon as the necessary pa- 
pers and pay-roll could be prepared. In a few days, having set- 
tled his arrangements, he started for Trenton, on horseback, witb 
his portmanteaus filled, stopping at various places on his way, 
to announce that on a given day he would return, to pay to thoM 
entitled their dues, and in several instances evinced a careleM- 
ness about the custody of his baggage, that excited remark fron 
inn-keepers and others. On arriving at Billings' tavern, al 
Trenton, he assembled several persons to whom money was daej 
and proceeded to pay them, but upon opening his portmanteau, 
he, to the dismay of himself and others, found that they had 
been ripped open, and that the money was gone! With a pitia- 
ble lamentation and well-affected sorrow he bewailed this rob- 
bery, instantly despatched messengers in quest of the thief, offe^ 
ed $2,000 reward for his apprehension, and advertised in staring 
handbills throughout the country, in hopes of gaining some clac 
that would enable him to recover his treasure. In this anxie^ 
he was joined by hundreds of others, who had been thus indefi- 
nitely delayed in the receipt of their needed and rightful dues, 
but although there was no lack of zeal in these efforts, yet no- 
thing occurred upon which to settle suspicion, and with a heavy 
heart, and many a sigh and tear, he returned home, and related 
to his family and friends, his ruin. As a natural consequence^ 
the event became at once the absorbing theme of the countij, 
for great numbers were effected in their pecuniary concerns fay 
it, and none more than the two endorsers to the securities d 
Whittlesey. These gentlemen, who were shrewd, practical, and 
very observing men, immediately began to interrogate him, 
singly and alone, into the circumstances of the journey and flic 
robbery, and Fairbanks in particular, whose trade as a saddlei 
led him to be minutely observant of the qualities and appear- 
ances of leather, made a careful examination of the incisions in 
the portmanteau, of which there were two, tracing upon pa- 
per their exact size and shape, and, upon close inspection, no- 
ticed pin holes in the margin, as if they had been mended np. 
Upon comparing the accounts which each had separately obtain- 
ed in a long and searching conversation, these men became con- 

fVateriown. 265 

Tinced that the money had not been stolen in the manner alleged^ 
but that it was still in the possession of Whittlesey and his wife. 
To get possession of this money was their next care, and, after 
long consultation, it was agreed that the only way to do this, 
was to gain the confidence of the family, and defend them man- 
fully against the insinuations that came from all quarters, that 
the money was still in town. In this they succeeded admirably, 
and from the declarations which they made in public and in 
private, which found their way directly back to the family, the 
latter were convinced that, although the whole world were 
against them in their misfortunes, yet they had the satisfaction 
to know that the two men who were the most interested, were 
still by their side. To gain some fact that would lead to a 
knowledge of the place of deposit, Messrs. Fairbanks and Keyes 
agreed to listen at the window of the sleeping room of those 
suspected, which was in a chamber, and overlooked the roof of 
a piazza. Accordingly, after dark one would call upon the fam- 
ily and detain them in conversation, while the other mounted a 
ladder and placed himself where he could overhear what was 
said within, and although they thus became convinced that the 
money was still in their possession, no opinion could be<formed 
about the hiding place. Security upon their real estate was de- 
manded, and readily given. 

A son of the family held a commission in the navy, and was 
on the point of sailing for the Mediterranean, and it was sus- 
pected that the money might thus have been sent off; to ascertain 
which, Mr. Fairbanks, under pretext of taking a criminal to the 
state prison, went to New York, made inquiries which satisfied 
Lim that the son was innocent of any knowledge of the affair, 
and ascertained at the bank the size of the packages taken. He 
had been told by Whittlesey, that these had not been opened 
when stolen, and by making experiments with blocks of wood 
of the same dimensions, they readily ascertained that bundles of 
that size could not be got through an aperture of the size reported, 
and that instead of a seven it required a nineteen inch slit in the 
leather to allow of their being extracted. Some facts were 
gleaned at Albany, that shed further light, among which it was 
noticed that Mrs. W. at her late visits (although generally very 
penurious in her trades) had been very profuse in her expenses. 
After a ten-days' absence, Mr. F. returned; his partner having 
listened nights meanwhile, and the intelligence gained by eave 
dropping, although it failed to disclose the locality of the lost 
money, confirmed their suspicions. As goods were being boxed 
up at Whittlesey's house at a late hour in the night, and the 
daughters had already been sent on to Sackets Harbor, it was 
feared that the family would soon leave; decisive measures were 


266 Watertoum. 

resolved upon to recover the money, the ingenuity and boldne^- 
of which evince the sagacity and energy of the parties. Sonn^:^^® 
method to decoy Whittlesey from home, and frighten him b^^PI 
threats, mutilation or torture, into a confession, was discusse^^^ 
but as the latter might cause an uncontrollable hemorrhage, 
was resolved to try the effect of drowning. Some experimen 
w^e made, on their own persons, of the effect of subttiersion 
the head, and Dr. Sherwood, a physician of ihc village, was co 
suited on the time life would remain under water. Havin 
agreed upon a plan, on the evening before its execution, they r 
paired to a lonely place about a mile south of the village, screeni 
from the sight of houses by a gentle rise of ground, and wher< 
a spring issued from the bank and flowed off through a mi 
slough, in which, a little below, they built a dam of turf, tha'^ 
formed a shallow pool. It was arranged that Mr. ~ 
should call upon Whittlesey, to confer with him on some means o:^ 
removing the suspicions which the public had settled upon him^ 
by obtaining certificates of character from leading citizens, an 
officers of the army; and that the two were to repair to Mr.-* 
Keyes's house, which was not far from the spring. Mr. Key 
was to be absent repairing his fence, and to leave word wi 
his wife, that if any one enquired for him, to send them into th 
field where he was at work. Neither had made confidants in 
their suspicions or their plans, except that Mr. Keyes thought 
it necessary to reveal them to his son, P. Gardner Keyes, then 
seventeen years of age, whose assistance he might need, in keep- 
ing up appearances, and in whose sagacity, and fidelity in keeping 
a secret he could rely. 

Accordingly, on the morning of July 17 (1815), Mr. Keyes, 
telling his wife that the cattle had broken into his grain, 
shouldered his axe, and went out to repair the fence which was 
thrown down, and Mr. Fairbanks called upon Whittlesey, en- 
gaged him in conversation as usual, and without exciting the 
slightest suspicion, induced him to go up 1o see his partner, whom 
they found in a distant part of the field at work. Calling him 
to them, they repaired as if casually to the spring, where, afler 
some trifling remark, they explicitly charged him with the rob- 
bery, gave their reasons for thinking so, and told him that if he 
did not instantly disclose the locality of the money, the pool be- 
fore him should be his grave. This sudden and unexpected 
charge frightened their victim; but with a look of innocence he 
exclaimed, " I know nothing of the matter." This was no sooner 
said, than he was rudely seized by Mr. Keyes and plunged head 
foremost into the pool, and after some seconds withdrawn. 
Being again interrogated, and assured that if the money were 
restored, no legal proceedings would be instituted; he again pro- 

fFateriawn. 287 

lis innocence, and was a second time plunged in, held 
everal moments, and again withdrawn, but this time insen- 
nd for one or two minutes it was doubtful whether their 
had not been executed; but he soon evinced signs of life, 
far recovered as to be able to sit up and to speak. Per- 
»thing but the certain knowledge of his guilt, which they 
»d, would have induced them to proceed further; but they 
en of firmness, and resolved to exhaust their resource of 
fnts, rightly judging that a guilty conscience could not 
Id out against the prospect of speedy death. He was ac- 
ly addressed by Mr. Keyes in tones and emphasis of sober 

and exhorted for the last time, to save himself from being 
before the tribunal of heaven, laden with guilt — to disclose 
In feeble tones he reasserted his innocence, and was 
oUared and plunged in, but this time his body only was 
id. It had been agreed in his hearing, that Fairbanks 
ivithout a family) should remain to accomplish the work, 
ling him into the bottom of the slough, while Keyes was 
f, so that neither could be a witness of murder if appre^ 
' and that on a given day they were to meet in Kingston. 
»aid over about ninety dollars to bear expenses of travel, 
s about to leave, when the wretched man, seeing these 
arrangements, and at length believing them to be an 
?ality, exclaimed, "77/ tell you all I /enow about itP^ 
lis, he was withdrawn, and when a little recovered, he 
d, that all but about $9,000 (which he now, for the first 
ated to have been stolen at Schenectady) would be found 
inder a hearth, at his house, or quilted into a pair of 

in his wife's possession. Mr. Keyes, leaving their 

in charge of his associate, started for the house, and was 
his wife, coming across the fields, covered with mud, 
use the words of the latter, " Looking like a murderer;" 
tough in feeble health, and scarcely able to walk, she met 
he door, and enquired with alarm, " What have you been 
' He briefly replied, " We have had the old fellow under 
nd made him own where the money is;^^ and hastily pro- 
to the village, related in few words to his friends. Dr. 
itchinson, and John M. Canfield, the facts, and with them 

to the house of Whittlesey. Seeing them approach, 
bittlesey fied to her chamber; and on their knocking for 
in, she replied, that she was changing her dress, and 
leet them shortly. As it was not the time or place for 
rvance of etiquette, Mr. Keyes rudely burst open the 
d entering, found her reclining on the bed. Disregard^ 
expostulations of impropriety, he rudely proceeded to 
md soon found between the atraw and feather bed, upon 

268 fVatertcwn. 

which she lay, a quilted garment, when she exclaimed, ** Yeu^ve^^^ ^-^^ 
got it! My God^ have I come to thisf^^ The drawers bore ^^"^e 
the' initials of Col. Tuttle, who had died in that house, undernr ^^er 
very suspicious circumstances; were fitted with two sets of but— ^-»t- 
tons, for either the husband or wife to wear, and contained about^ «-* "* 

thirty parcels of bills, labeled: "For my dear son C , 250C^^30 

of 5;" " For my dear daughter E , 150 of 3;" &c., amount S ^t- 

ing to $15,000 to her five children; the remainder being reserved 1::^-^ ^ 
for her own use. The garment also contained a most extraor-^"^^^^" 
dinary document, which might be called her Will^ and abouti^'.K-^^^^^ 
which she expressed the most urgent solicitude, imploring that^.^^^^^ 
it might be destroyed, by the earnest appeal that, " Fom Airtjes^^^"^^ 
children as well as mef It was soon after published in ihe^*^-*"^ 
papers, and was as follows: 

^^ It is my last and dying request, that my children shall hav 

all the money that is contained in the papers which have their-a * ^ -^' 

names on, which is three thousand dollars for each; and let there^"^^^^' 

be pains and caution, and a great length of time taken to ex — ::^*^^ 

change it in.. God and my own heart knows the misery I have^ -^^.^^^ 

suffered in consequence of it, and that it was much against my"^^^^^" 

will that it should be done. I have put all that is in the same^ ^^^ ° 

bank by it, that I had from prudence, and a great number of^^ 

years been gathering up; and when I used to meet with bills ond 

that bank in your possession, or when I could, I used to ex — -^^^^ 

change others for them, as I supposed it was the best, and wouldf> t*^^^ 

be the most permanent bank. You know the reason of your tak — ^ 

ing this was, that we supposed that from the lock of the small f ^ 

trunk being broken, and the large one being all loose, and the^»:^ 

nails out, that we were robbed on the road of $S,700. YoiKJ^> -^ 

know that I always told you, that I believed it was done in thc^ rf^ 

yard, where you, as I told you then, put the wagon imprudently^ IS ' 

m Schenectady. Oh! how much misery am I born to see,e^ 

through all your improper conduct, which I am forced to con-* 

ceal from the view of the world, for the sake of my beloveit»^^^T 

offsprings' credit, and whereby I have got enemies undeservedly, "^^*^ 

while the public opinion was in your favor! But it fullyHl^ ^ 

evinces what false judgments the world makes. Oh! the 

who tries the hearts, and searches the reins of the children 

men, knows, that the kind of misery which I have suffered, an 

which has riled and soured my temper, and has made me appears 

cross and morose to the public eye, has all proceeded from you 


and fixed in my countenance the mark of an ill-natured dispo — 
sition, which was naturally formed for loves, friendships, andC> ^^ 
all other refined sensations. How have I falsified the truth, tbat^ ^^ 
you might appear to every advantage, at the risk and ill-opinio 
of the sensible world towards myself, when my conscience 
telling me I was doing wrong; and which, with everything 

Watertawn. 260 

lat I have suffered since I have been a married woman, has 
orn me down and kept me out of health; and now, oh! now, this 
St act is bringing me to my grave fast. I consented, because 
lu had placed me in the situation you did. In the first place 
»u were delinquent in the payment to government of eighteen 

nineteen hundred dollars. Then this almost $9,000 missing, 
"ound when you come to settle, that you never could make it 
od without sacrificing me and my children, was the reason I 
nsented to the proposal. I did you the justice to believe that 
the last sum had not been missing, that you would not have 
oe as you did; but I am miserable! ' God grant that my dear 
ildren may never fall into the like error, that their father has, 
d their poor unfortunate mother consented to! May the Al* 
ighty forgive us both, for I freely forgive you all you have 
ide me suffer." 

The money being counted, and to their surprise found to em- 
ace a part of the sum supposed to be stolen, Mr. Keyes went 
ck to release Whittlesey. The Idtter, meanwhile, had related 
e circumstances of the robbery, and anxiously enquired whether, 

the whole was not found, they would still execute their pur- 
ise; to which Mr. Fairbanks replied in a manner truly character- 
ic, ^^that ivill depend on circumstances" No one was more sur- 
ised than Whittlesey himself, to learn that most of the money 
IB found, and that he had been robbed at Schenectady by his 
fn wife. He begged hard to be released on the spot, but it 
IS feared he would commit suicide, and he was told that he 
ist be delivered up to the public as sound as he was taken, and 
\a led home. The fame of this discovery soon spread, and it 
18 with difiUculty that the villagers were restrained from evin* 
ig their joy by the discharge of cannon. Mr. Whittlesey 
IS led home, and placed with guard in the room with his wife, 
til further search; and here the most bitter criminations were 
changed, each charging the other with the crime, and the 
fe upbraiding the husband with cowardice, in revealing the 
xet. The guard being withdrawn in the confusion that ensued, 
•s. Whittlesey passed from the house, and was seen by a person 
a distance, to cross the cemetery, of Trinity church, where on 
»ing the grave of a son, she patisedy faUeredy and fell back, 
erwhelmed with awful emotion; but a moment after, gathering 
w energy, she hastened on,, rushed down the high bank near 
» ice cave, and plunged into the river. Her body was found 
•ating near the lower bridge, and efforts were made to recover 
e, but it was extinct! 

\Vith a remarkable familiarity with death, she had years be- 
ne prepared her own shroud, and chosen the text* and psalm 

* n Corinthians, v, 1 . 

270 fVatertown. 

she wished to have used at her funeral; but the Rev. Mr. Banks, 
who officiated on the occasion, not deeming these applicable to 
the case, selected the sixtk commandment, for a text, and a 
hymn in Watt's Collection, commencing with, 

" Death, His a melancholy day." 

She was buried beside her son, and near Colonel Tuttle, whom 
she is supposed to have poisoned. Her husband remained in 
town nearly a year, and then removed to Indiana, where he 
afterwards became a justice, and a county judge, and by an ex- 
emplary life won the respect of community; and although the 
details of this affair followed him, yet the censure of opinion 
rested upon the wife. He has been dead many years. The 
sympathies of the public were not withheld from the children of 
this liamily, who were thus cast penniless and disgraced upon the 
world. Many details connected with the afl'air we have not 
given; among which were several attempts to throw suspicion 
upon innocent parties by depositing money on their premises, 
writing anonymous letters, &c., which serve but to aggravate 
the crime, by betraying the existence of a depravity on the part 
of the chief contriver in the scheme, which has seldom or never 
been equaled. The marked bills, amounting to $400, had been 
dropped on the road to Sackets Harbor, and were found by Mr. 
Gale, who prudently carried them to a witness, counted and 
scaled them, and after the disclosure brought them forward. Mr. 
Whittlesey stated that he expected some one would find and use 
the money, when he could swear to the marks, and implicate 
the finder. Mr. Gale, upon hearing this, was affected to tears, 
and exclaimed: " Mr. Whittlesey, is it possible, you would have 
been so wicked as to have sworn me to state prison for being 
honest!" • 

Congress, on the 11th of January, 1821, passed an act di- 
recting the secretary of the treasury to cancel and surrender the 
bond given by Whittlesey, and endorsed by Fairbanks & Keyes, 
on condition of the latter giving another, payable with interest 
in two years. 

To give interest to this account, we offer the portrait of one 
of the parties, engraved from a recent daguerreotype; and in the 
appendix will insert some anecdotes illustrative of the peculiar 
characteristics of Mr. Fairbanks, whose public life and promi- 
nent business operations have made him extensively known. 

The village of Watertown was incorporated April 5, 1816. 
The act provided for the election of five trustees, who were to 
possess the powers and immunities usually vested in similar cor- 
porations. These extended to the formation of a fire department, 
the construction of water works, regulation of markets, streets, 

^^(^£?Z?-?^ ^(y.-P'r-m ^ 


fVcUertown. 273 

&c.; the building of hay scales, supervision of weights and 
measures, and whatever related to the preservation of health, or 
the suppression of nuisances. Three assessors, a treasurer, col- 
lector, and five fire wardens were to be also elected. Fines, not 
exceeding $25, might be imposed. The annual election was to 
occur on the first Monday of May, and the trustees were to choose 
one of their number for president, and some proper person for 
clerk. The president, with the advice of the trustees, was to 
appoint a company, not exceeding twenty, of firemen, and to 
enforce, in the name of the trustees, the ordinances and regula- 
tions which they might establish. Thje village of Watertown 
was constituted one road district, and exempted from the jurisdic- 
tion of the town commissioners. 

On the 7th of April, 18*20, an act was passed altering the 
bounds of the village, and amending the charter; and on the 17th 
of April, 1826, and 26th of April, 1831, the charter was still 
further amended. On the 22d of March, 1832, the trustees were 
empowered, by an act, to borrow a sum not exceeding $2,000, 
to improve the fire department of the village, and supply it with 
water to be used in tires, and April 21, 1832, the doings at an 
election were confirmed. An act was passed April 23, 1835, 
granting additional powers to the trustees, repealing former pro- 
visions of the charter, and authorizing the erection of a market. 
The village charter was amended by an act of April 16, 1852, 
by which its bounds were increased, the district included directed 
to be divided into from five to seven wards. A president, three 
assessors, a clerk, treasurer, collector, and two police constables, 
were to be elected annually, and one trustee to each ward, of which 
there are five. Elections are held on the first Monday of March, 
and the powers and duties of the trustees were much extended. 

The first village election was held at the house of Isaac Lee, 
in May, 18 16, David Bucklin, Esq., presiding, and the following 
officers were chosen: Timothy Burr, Egbert Ten Eyck, Olney 
Pearce, Marianus W. Gilbert, and Norris M. Woodruff, trustees; 
Beuben Goodale, William Smith, Orville Hungerford, assessors; 
JVIicah Sterling, treasurer; Seth Otis, collector; Jabez Foster, 
Samuel Watson, Jr., Rufus Backus, William Fletcher, Joseph 
Henry, ^re wardens. 

Trustees of the village of Watertovm since its incorporation. 
{The one elected president is placed first in Italics.) 

1816, Timothy Burr, Egbert Ten Eyck, Olney Pearce, Mari- 
anus W. Gilbert, Norris M. Woodruff. 

1817, Isaac Lee^ Silas Marvin, Wm. Tanner, Andrew Newell, 
Jason Fairbanks. 

1818, Orin Stone j Wm. Smith, Chauncey Calhoun, Reuben 
Cjioodale, Dyer Huntington. 

274 Watertawn. 

18 19, William Smithy Orin Stone, Chauncey Calhoun, Reuben 
Goodale, Dyer Huntington. 

1820, Egbert Ten Eyck, Marianus W. Gilbert,* David W. 
Bucklin, Andrew Newell, N. M. Woodruff. 

1821, Olney Pearce, Andrew Newell, James Q. Adams, Charles 
E. Clarke, David W. Bucklin. 

1822, David W, Bucklin, Calvin McKnight, Marianus W. 
Gilbert, Dyer Huntington, Adriel Ely. 

1823, Orville Hungerford, Dyer Huntington, John Sigourney, 
James Q. Adams, Loveland Paddock. 

1824, Orville Hungerford^ Dyer Huntington, Silas Marvin, 
John Sigourney, Norris M. Woodruff. 

1825, Olney PearcCy Noah W. Kiniston, Marianus W. Gil- 
bert, Andrew Newell, John Safford. 

182G, Olney Pcarce, Marianus W. Gilbert, Noah W. Kiniston, 
Andrew Newell, John Safford. 

1827, .mrris M. Woodruff, Marianus W. Gilbert, Orin Stone, 
William D. Ford, Chauncey Calhoun. 

1828, JVorris M. Woodruff\ Chauncey Calhoun, Loveland 
Paddock, Jeremiah Holt, John Sigourney. 

1829, Morris M, Woodruff, Dyer Huntington, John Sigourney, 
Robert Lansing, Isaac H. Bronson. 

1830, JVorris M. Woooruff, Dyer Huntington, John Sigourney, 
Robert Lansing, Isaac H. Bronson. 

1831, JVorris M, Woodruff, Dyer Huntington, Nathaniel W^i- 
ley, Otis Col well, Rufus Sherman. 

1832, Jason Fairbanks, Alanson Tubbs, Isaac H. Bronson, 
Milton Carpenter, Marianus W\ (jilbert. 

1833, Orville Hungerford, Marianus W\ Gilbert, John Clarke, 
Philo C. Walton, Henry H. Coffeen. 

1834, Orville Hungerford, Henry II. Coffeen, Marianus W. 
Gilbert, Nathaniel Wiley, Luther G. Iloyt. 

1835, Orville Hungerford, Henry H. Coffeen, Marianus W. 
Gilbert, Nathaniel Wiley, David D. Otis. 

1836, Ja^on J?'a/r6a7i/c^, Hiram Holcomb, Frederick W. White, 
Robert Lansing, Marianus W. Gilbert. 

1837, Dyer Huntington, Marianus W. Gilbert, Daniel Lee, 
Reuben Goodale, Lewis R. Sandiforth. 

1838, Dyer Huntington, Reuben Goodale, Daniel Lee, Mari- 
anus W. Gilbert, John C. Lasher. 

1839, David D, Otis, Freeman Murray, Marianus W. Gilbert, 
Otis Colwell, W^illiam H. Robinson. 

1840, George C. Sherman, Orville Hungerford, Otis Colwell, 
William H. Robinson, Freeman Murray. 

* Appointed December 1, 1820, in place of Ten Eyck, resigned. 

fFatertown. 275 

1841, William Woody George Burt, Orville Hungerford, 
Stephen Boon, Jr., William Ragan. 

1842, William H. Robinson^ Loveland Paddock, Calvin 
"Wright, Kilborn Hannahs, Peter S. Howk. 

1843, William H, Robinson^ Daniel Lee, John D. Crowner, 
ovelaud Paddock, Nathaniel Wiley. 

1844, Benjamin Cary, Daniel Lee, Dyer Huntington, David 
. Otis, Winslow Partridge. 

l84dyDi/er Huntington^ G. C. Torry, George Burr, C. Colwell, 
ville V. Brainard. 

1846, Orville V. Brainard. C Colwell, Horace W. Woodruff, 
!?■. W. Hubbard, John F. Hutchinson. 

1847, Stephen Boon, John Sigourney, Gilbert Woodruff, H. 
ArV. W^oodrutf, I. Munson. 

1848, Peter & Ilowky John C. Lasher, Nehemiah Van Ness, 
W. Woodruff, Stephen Boon. 

1849, David D. Otis, Nathaniel Farnham, Calvin Auborn, 
J. H. Napier, Peter Haas. 

1850, David D. OtiSy C. Colwell, Pierson Mundy, N. Farnham, 
Alarcus Hungerford. 

1851, Joshua Moore, Jr., Peter Horr, K. Hannahs, John H. 
Napier, Isaac H. Fisk. 

1852, Kilborn Hannahs, C. H. Wright, 0. V. Brainard, I. 
Alunson, J. M. Clark. 

1853, Joseph Mullin, president; William A. Loomis, Benja- 
xnin Cory, Abner Baker, Charles Clarke, Philo L. Sco\i\, trustees. 

The trustees, at their first meeting, divided the villa^ into 
five wards, to each of which a fire warden was to be assigned, 
and each was to be supplied with four ladders. A series of 
regulations providing against fires and making provisions for 
the several objects named in the charter was also adopted. A 
fire company was organized May 28th, 1817, and at a meeting 
of freeholders called for the purpose on the 10th of June, the 
sum of .$200 was voted for the purchase of a fire engine, 
f ebruary 6th, 1818, $500 voted to assist in building a bridge 
xiear Newel's brewery. May 4th, 1818, a committee of three 
appointed to confer with the supervisors concerning the purchase 
of a bell for the court house. On the 22d of May, 1821, a plan 
of supplying the village with water was discussed, and on sub- 
sequent occasions action was taken towards the erection of reser- 
A'oirs near the factory, but this measure finally failed. On the 
^7th of October, 1823, a plan for a cemetery, previously pur- 
chased of H. Massey, was accepted, and on the 6th of December, 
1825, the lots, one rod square each, were balloted for, each tax- 
able resident being entitled to one share. To non residents, lots 

ight be sold, the proceeds to be applied to the building of a 

276 IVatertown. 

tomb. Four lots were to be drawn, one for each of the clergy 
of the village. A hook and ladder company was voted to Ixs 
formed, in May, 1826. June 14th, 1828, 8150 voted for im- 
proving the public square, and $50 for boring for water in the 
public well. On the 3 1st of December following,' $50 were 
appropriated to aid in digging for water on Factory Square. 
At the annual meeting in 1829 the proceeds of licenses in the 
1st ward were applied towards procuring water for the village. 
On the 21st of May, $200 were voted for boring for water. In 
pursuance of this object, an Artesian well was commenced on the 
public square, and had been sunk many feet, when the work 
was stopped by the maliciously dropping of a drill into the hole 
with the steel point upwards. 

At a meeting held November 24th, 1831, the inhabitants ad- 
vised the trustees to purchase a new fire engine, and the sum of 
$50 was directed to be drawn out of the village treasury, and 
presented to Messrs. Barrett & Parker, for their prompt and ef- 
ficient exertions with their new engine at the late fire in the 
village. A fire company to be attached to the engine, belong- 
ing to the Jeiferson Cotton Mills, was formed August 6th, 1832. 
Dyer Huntington was at the same time appointed chief engineer, 
and Adriel Ely assistant engineer of the fire department. 

On the 19th of June, 1832, a special meeting of trustees waa 
held to adopt measures to prevent the spread of the Asiatic 
cholera, which was at that time spreading terror throughout 
the country. Sobriety, regularity, temperance, and cleanliness 
were wcommended as the most efficient preventives of the dis- 
ease. One trustee, one fire warden, one physician, and three 
citizens, were appointed in each ward to take efficient measures 
for enforcing sanitary regulations. A special meeting of citizens 
convened at Parson's Hotel, on the next day, and after the read* 
ing of several papers from Albany, Ogdensburgh, and Prescott, 
a ^' committee of health," consisting of twelve persons, was 
appointed, and Drs. Trowbridge, Crawe, Wright, Green, Good- 
ale, Sykes, Bagg, and Safford, were named as a committee to 
consult with the health committee. The state and national legis- 
latures were petitioned for a law preventing the landing of 
foreigners, and for powers similar to those given to cities. The 
surrounding t6wns and villages were invited to cooperate in the 
adoption of sanitary measures. Three days after the passage of 
the act of June 22d, for the preservation of the public health, 
the following persons, viz: Marianus W. Gilbert, Levi Beebee, 
John Sigourney, Orville Hungerford, William Smith, Norris M. 
Woodruff, and Peleg Burchard, were appointed a board oi 
health, and Dr. I. B. Crawe, was elected health officer. 

On the 3d of May, 1833, a board of health was again ap- 

fVatertown. 277 

pointed, consisting of William Smith, Levi Beebee, P. Bur- 
crliardy N. M. Woodruff, and John Sigourney; Dr. I. B. Crawe, 
bealth officer. 

On intelligence being received from Montreal of the reap- 
pearance of the cholera, a special meeting of trustees was called, 
^August Jst, 1834, and a new board of health appointed. 

In compliance with an act of 1832, revived by the legislature, 

»ril 16th, 1849, and in pursuance of the proclamation of the 

;overnor,the trustees of Watertown, June 19th, 1849, organized 

board of health, to adopt sanitary regulations as preventives 

»f the Asiatic cholera, then ravaging some sections of the Union. 

A census of Watertown, taken in April 1827, gave 1098 males, 

^nd 941 females, a gain of 500 in two years. There were 321 

buildings, of which 224 were dwellings; 3 stone churches 

(JVIetfaodist, Universalist, and Presbyterian); court house, and 

'jail; clerk^s office; arsenal; 1 cotton factory with 1300 spindles, 

SAnotber (Beebee's) then building; 1 woolen factory; 3 paper 

xxiills; 3 large tanneries; 3 flouring mills; 1 furnace; 1 nail 

:f^ctory; 2. machine shops; 2 fulling mills; 3 carding machines; 

^ distilleries; 1 ashery; 2 pail factories; 1 sash factory; 2 chair 

factories; 1 hat factory; 4 wagon shops; 2 paint shops; 4 cabi- 

fiet and joiner shops; 8 blacksmiths; 4 tailor shops; 7 shoe 

shops; 3 saddle and harness shops; 8 taverns; 15 dry good 

stores; 2 hardware stores; 2 hat stores; 2* book stores; 2 leather 

stores; 1 paint store; 2 druggists; 2 jewelers; 2 weekly papers; 

T public schools; 6 physicians, and 10 lawyers. 

In 1829, an association was formed for boring for water on 
I*^actory Square, and a hole two and a half inches in diameter 
Was drilled to the depth of 127 feet, when water was obtained 
that rose to the surface, and having been tubed, has since dis- 
oharged (except in very dry seasons, when it requires pumping) a 
copious volume of water, slightly charged with sulphur and iron. 
The cost of the work was about $800. On Sewall's Island, a 
similar well was bored, which at eighty feet discharged water 
and inflammable gas; but upon being sunk further, these were 
both lost. 

An act was passed April 10, 1826, incorporating the Water- 
town Water Company, but nothing was effected. 

An act was again passed April 11, 1845, by which L. Pad- 
dock, Timothy Dewey, F. W. Hubbard, N. M. Woodruff, and 0. 
Uungerford, and their associates, were incorporated as the Water- 
town Water Works Company, but these did not attempt the 
erection of water works. 

On the 22d of March, 1853, Loveland Paddock, George C. 
Sherman, Isaac H. Fisk, William H. Angel, and Howell Cooper, 
vrere incorporated as the Water Commissioners of the VillagQ 

278 Watertowfu 

af Watertown; who were to be divided into classes, so that one 
should be annually elected, commencing on the first Monday of 
June, 1856. Before entering upon their duties, they were to 
give a joint bond of $60,000, and were empowered to borrow, on 
the credit of the village, a sum not exceeding $50,000 for a 
term of not less than twenty, nor more than thirty years, paya- 
ble in five installments, with seven per cent interest, for the 
purpose of erecting water works in«the village. The above 
commissioners, soon after their appointment, contracted with J. 
C. Wells for a pump house and reservoir; the latter to be 150, 
by 250 feet, at the water line, and 12 feet deep; to be lineil with 
clay, covered with gravel, and divided by two walls six feet 
apart; the vacancy being filled with layers of gravel and sand, 
through which the water is filtered in passing from the receiving 
to the distributing side of the reservoir. The pump house, lo- 
cated on Black River, near the cotton factory, in the upper part 
of the village, was to be 28 by 40 feet, and 17 feet high, entirely 
fire proof. The machinery was contracted for by Hoard & 
Bradford; and the pipes, from the pumps to the reservoir, 
and the main distributing pipes, were furnished and laid by J. 
Ball & Co., of New York. They are of sheet iron, lined and 
coated with cement, and warranted to last five years. For the 
reservoir, the commissioners purchased of John C. Sterling a 
lot of six acres, about a mile south-east of the village, on the 
brow of a limestone ridge, 180 feet above the public square. 
The site is beautiful and commanding, and when the improve- 
ments contemplated here are completed, the place will become 
one of great resort from the village. A lot, of twenty acres, 
has, with characteristic liberality, been presented to the village 
by Mr. Sterling, adjoining the reservoir, and designed for a 
public park. It was coupled with no condition, except that 
it should, within a given time, be enclosed and laid out as a 
public ground. This, the village authorities have engaged to 
do; and should the future growth of the place be such as present 
prospects warrant, the premises will, ere long, become an attract- 
ive appendage to what must soon become the City of Watertown. 
The extraordinary prices to which cotton fabrics had arisen, 
led to the formation of the Black River Cotton and Woolen 
Manufacturing Company, which was formed December 28, 
1813, with a capital of $ 100,000, in 1000 shares. The following 

Eersons signed the original articles; the first four being trustees, 
[art Massey was named a trustees, but was not a sut^riber to 
the articles: 

William Smith, Jabez Foster^ Marinus W. Gilbert^ John 
Paddock, Egbert Ten Eyck, Amos Benedict^ William Tanner^ 
Jason Fairbanks, Perley Keyes. 

fVaterUwn. 279 

This company purchased, for f 250, the right of way for a road 
from the public square to the present site of Factory Village; 
and of Ezekiel Jewett, for $10,000, a tract of 400 acres, Avith 
the adjacent water powers and here, during the summer of 1814, 
they erected a dam, and a stone building (still standing) for a 
cotton factory, which was stocked with machinery, mostly made 
in Hudson, and commenced spinning in November. There was, 
at this time, in the country, considerable prejudice against the 
use of machinery, in place of hard labor; and Spafford, in the Ga- 
zetteer of New York, speaking of these, says: "The automaton 
habits, and the immoral tendencies of these establishments, will 
be better understood fifty years hence.'* This period has not 
quite elapsed, but the revolution which mechanical improvements 
have since wrought in the cheapness, elegance, and comfort which 
their products diflfuse among the humbler classes, is a triumphant 
vindication of the useful arts. The cost of this factory amounted 
to $72,000. The principal care of erecting, and setting it in 
operation, was entrusted to Mr. Smith; and in three years the 
company stopped work. It was afterwards hired, and run three 
years longer, and subsequently sold for $7,000; and has since 
passed through several hands. 

Perhaps no private enterprise ever gave a stronger impulse to 
the growth of Watertown, than the erection of the Jefferson 
Cotton Millsy and no single calamity was felt more severely than 
their loss. They were erected by Levi Beebee, from Coopers- 
town, a native of Canaan, Connecticut, who came into the 
county in March, 1827, to select a location for a factory, and 
had some idea of locating at Brownville, having at that place 
received proposals for the sale of the hydraulic privileges 
on the south side of the river. While this subject was pending, 
he became acquainted with the rare natural facilities for manu- 
facturing purposes which Cowen's Island,* in the village of 
Watertown affordtd, and the limitation of his offers at Brown- 
ville having expired, he effected, through the agency of William 
Smith, Esq., of Watertown, the purchase of the small proper- 
ties which comprised most of the island, and from Mr. Le Ray, 
120 acres on the north bank of the river opposite, for the nomi- 
nal sura of $1500. Early in the spring he commenced the 
erection of a large and substantial stone building, which was 
completed and the water wheels and shafting inserted under the 
superintendence of Mr. Smith, before December of the same 

* Since called Btthtt't Jtland, It formed a part of Jonathan Cowen^s pur- 
chase, and is eaid to have been offered by him to Jonathan Baker at an early 
period for $10. The latter offered $5, but, being: unable to agree, the bargain 
ikiled. They little dreamed that the little island would, within so short a 

Period, be worth more than their uaited fortunes. [Link in the CAat'n, by 

^olon Mattey,] 

280 Watertoum. 

year. The build iDg was 250 by 65 feet, three stories high, 
, besides a high basement with a projection before and behind, 
and connected with this were several offices and store rooms, and 
in the vicinity two large and massive stone buildings for boarding 
houses. Under the main building, two wheel pits, each 24 by 32 
feet and 24 feet deep were blasted in the rock, and a canal 10 feet 
wide, 6 deep, and 250 long, was made, which furnished water 
from the smaller or south branch of the river. It was intended 
for 10,000 spindles, of which 3000 were got in operation. A 
legal company was formed April 14th, 1829, under the style of 
the "Jefferson Cotton Mills," having for its nominal trustees, Levi 
Beebee, W. T. Beebee, L. S. Beebee, E. Faunda, and Horace 
Hunt, it being generally understood that the first named was the 
real efficient party in the business. To secure the exemptions 
from taxation which the statutes afford in certain cases, Mr. 
Beebee obtained, April 7th, 1830, an act of incorporation, in 
which him«:elf and sons Levi S. and Washington T. w^ere con- 
stituted a company, with a capital of §250,000, in shares of 
$50, and under the management of three trustees. On Sunday, 
July 7th, 1833, the premises were discovered on fire, and such 
progress had been made before discovered, that no effort was at- 
tempted further than to protect surrounding buildings. Circum- 
stances render the conclusion inevitable, that the fire was set by 
an incendiary — that several gallons of varnish were used to 
assist in his designs, and that it was done in revenge for a real 
or supposed injury from the owner. The loss was estimated at 
$200,000, of which $25,000 were insured. Mr. Beebee sub- 
sequently removed to iMaumee in Ohio, and with the remains of 
his property purchased a large tract in that town, and com«3 
menced building a hotel on a magnificent scale, but the walls 
being too slight, fell before finished, and thus completed his ruin. 
He died at Cleveland, September 19th, 1838, of a lingering ill- 
ness, terminating in dropsy on the brain, at the age of 60. Few 
men among us have evinced more sagacity, industry, and perse- 
verance, than Mr. Beebee. In early life he had been a school 
teacher in Herkimer County, and afterwards engaged as a mer- 
chant in Hart wick,' Otsego County. In 1812, he became agent 
for the Hope Factory, and continued in that capacity till 1827, 
when he removed to Watertown. As agent, his business led 
him on frequent journeys to the south and west, and for several 
seasons he resided in New Orleans. 

The crumbling walls of the factory still recall sad recollec- 
tions of cheerful prospects blighted, and form a picture of desola- 
tion inconsistent with the busy and progressive spirit, every 
where apparent around them. The site of this factory is one of 
the most eligible in the state for hydraulic purposes. 

Watertoum. 281 

ZThe Waiertawn Cotton Mills Company , with $100,000 capi- 
ta], was formed January 10th, 1834, with Zpaac H. Bronson, • 
Fairbanks^ Samuel F. Bates y John Sigoumeyy and Joseph 
.holly trustees. 

his association is believed to have continued several years, 
is now replaced by the fVatertown Cotton Company j capi- 
tal 5j] 2,000, formed January 7th, 1846, with E. T. Throop 
AXz^rtin, Daniel Lee, S. Newton Dexter, Hiram Holcomb, and 
J oh n Collins, trustees. Their mill 'at Factor}' Village in Water- 
, contains fifty looms, with a proportionate amount of 
linery, and the premises occupied are the same that were 
ted for a cotton factory in 1814. 

11 the 10th of February, 1835, an association with a capital 

50,000 was formed by Henry D, Sewall, George Gouldingy 

C. Lashary Simeon Boynton^ and John Gonlding, styled 

tlfco Hamilton Woolen Mills. On ihe 10th of March of the 

sanQ^ year, new articles were drawn up by the same parties, 

imd^r the name of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company, and 

"^^■th a capital of $100,000. During the same year, a dam and 

f'^<it.<3ry were built, under the agency of Mr. Sewall, a short 

cl&st9.iice above the village, which went into operation in the 

spriiig of 1836. The factory was designed for five sets of cards, 

"^^itli the necessary machinery. In May, 1842, it was bought by 

the Jlack River Woolen Company, which had been formed 

^o^?" ember 7th, 1836, with a capital of $50,000, the parties 

^^iog Isaac H. Bronson, S. N. Dexter, 0. Hungerford, John 

^^^i^liams, Hiram Holcomb, and Daniel Lee. These erected a 

I'^ctory at Factory Village, which, after it had been in successful 

^P^ration several years, was burned December 22d, 1841, with 

^ loss of from $33,000 to $36,000, of which about one-third 

^^^s insured. By this fire thirty hands were thrown out of em- 

P*c>yinent, and two or three narrowly escaped from the flames. 

This factory is now run upon contract, by Loomis & Co., the 
J^^^mpany furnishing the mill and wool, and the contractors, the 
^V)or, dye stufis, oil, &c., used in the manufacture. It gives 
^'^ployment to seventy hands. 

Mr. Sewall, the founder of this factory, had in early life been 
^^ gaged in trade in Boston, and subsequently, in company with 
"^^ Arthur Tappan, in Montreal. On the occurrence of the war, he 
^^ceived summary notice to leave the province, within sixty 
3^y8, and he returned to Boston. He died at Watertown, June 
^t:i, 1846, aged 59. 

The Watertown Woolen Company was formed with $100,000 
^*pital, February 4th, 1834, with I. H. Bronson, John A. 
^^gers, John Williams, S. Newton Dexter, and Hiram Hol- 
^^«ab, trustees. A company styled the Waiertown Woolen 

282 fFatertoum. 

Manufacturing Company, was formed December 24th, 1835, 
with J. Williams, I. H. Bronson, H. Ilolcomb, D.Lee, and Silas 
Clark, trustees, and a capital of $25,000. We have not Ueen 
able to learn what was eilected by these, neither of which now 

The Williams Woolen Company was formed November 7th, 
1836, with a capital of $10,000, and was for some time en- 
gaped in manufacturing negro cloths, and other coarse goods. 
I. li Bronson, S. N. Dexter, J. Williams, H. Holcomb, and 
Charles Weber, were the parties concerned at the time of organ- 
ization. The premises have been since changed to a tannery- for 
sheep skins. The latter business has for several years been 
conducted by two or three establishments at Factory Village, to 
a considerable extent. 

The first tannery on an extensive scale, was erected here ly 
Jason Fairbanks, in 1823, which, having been burnt, was re- 
built in 1833. 

In 1808, a ] aper mill was built above Cowen's Mill by Gur- 
don Caswell from Oneida County, and in 1816 sold to Holbrook 
and Fessenden, of Brattleboro. Other paper mills were built 
above, and in 1824, the firm of Knowlton & Rice commenced 
this business, which they have since continued. In 1832 they 
introduced the first machinery for making paper in the county, 
and have made from $30,000 to $35,000 worth of paper annu- 
ally. Their works have been repeatedly burned. 

The manufacture of iron into castings and machinery has for 
many years been carried on to a considerable extent in Water- 
town, the first machine shop being built by N. Wiley about 1820, 
and the first foundry by R. Bincjham. 

In 1823, G. Goulding, and'^in 1825, W^illiam Smith com- 
menced the manufacture, and have since carried it on. The 
former of these has been engaged on Norton's Island in making 
mill gearings, factory machinery, and to a less extent steam 
engines, and is now under the firm of Goulding, Bagley & 
Sewall, to a considerable extent employed in building machinery 
and tools for working iron. Mr. Smith has been heavily en- 
gaged in making mill gearings and castings, stoves, hollow 
ware, and agricultural implements. His foundry is on Beebee's 
Island. In 1841, the firm of Cooper & W-oodruff built, in 
Pamelia, opposite the site of Beebee's factory, a foundry and 
machine shop, and had, after being employed upon factory 
machiner}', mill irons, steam engines, &c., become largely en- 
gaged in the building of rail road cars. These premises were 
burned July 22d, 1853, occasioning a serious loss, not only to the 
enterprising proprietor, but to the public at large. The machine 
shop was 130 by 30 feet, two stories high on the ground, and 

Watertown. 383 

Ibree on the river. The furnace 40 by 80, the pattern and store 
room 40 by 50, and two stories high. They were siluatitl di- 
rectly opposite the cascade on the river. The Uriii nt' Hourd 
& Bradford have had, for two or three years, near the premises of 
the latter, a machine shop, principally for Ihe innriuraciure of 
portable steam engines, lor whieh their works liavc beeome quite 

Our space will not admit of the details of the dilferent 
branches of industry at this place, Blaik River, within the 
distance of a mile, passes over four dams, at each of which are 
numerous establishments, liut at none of them is the full amount 
of water power used. The facility with which Hams can be 
constructed, and the security that can lie [riven to buildings 
erected upon them, from the bed of the river being solid rock, 
gives additional value to these privileges. The four dams were 
buitt in 1803, 1805. 1814, »nd 1833, and none of them have 
been impaired by the spring floods. 

The river is crossed by three bridges, of which the lower one 
was first erecte<l. Soon after the beginning at Factory Village, 
one was erected there; and one over the cascade, near the ruins 
of Bcebue's Factory, in the summer of lS3(i. This consisted of a 
Mngie arch of timbers, and was built by Hiram Merrill, for 
the two towns it connects, at a cost of $764. In the fall of 
1853, the present elegant bridge was erected, the old one having 
tlecaye<l so as to render its use unsafe. 

The business of the place enriy centered around Ihe Public 
Square, especially at its west end, and on CV>urt and Washington 
stret-'ts; and in 1815, __ ^ 

John Paddock erected "^^' . _ 1-rr "- - 

a three story block, 
t'Drniing a part of the 
build ings shown in the 
itfinexed rut, which 
^^-as the first edifice 
pf its size and class 
*n town. The corner 
Of Washington am 
-*^ rscnal streets be- 
^s»me, at an early day, 
'^^e site of a two story 
^^"ooden tavern, and 
^'V-as occupied until 
3-S27, when an associ- 
*tion of citizens di 

.Imrrirnn HoUl nml Paifilork 
Mail i:i. ISt'i 

siring to have a hotel in the place that should compare with 
^Vaose of the first class in cities, was formed under the name of 

284 PVateHoum. 

the Watertown Hotel Company^ having a capital of $20,000. 
In Ihesanae year they erected the American* Hotel, represented 
in the engraving, and this establishment continued to be owned 
by the company until burned in 1849, when the site was sold 
for $10,000, and the present building of the same name was 
erected on its site by individual enterprise. 

Watertown has been repeatedly devastated by fires, some of 
which produced a decided check to its prosperity, while others 
acted beneficially, by removing rubbish that would, otherwise, 
have disfigured the vilhige for time indefinite, and from which 
the place recovered with an elastic energy, characteristic of a 
progressive age and people. 

On the 7th of February, 1833, a fire occurred, which burned 
the extensive tannery and oil mill of Mr. J. Fairbanks; the pa- 
per mill and printing office of Knowlton & Rice, and a morocco 
factory and dwelling of Kitts & Cari)enter; Joss about $30,000. 

The destruction of Beebee's factory, July 7, 1833, has been 
above noticed. 

On the 22f\ of December, 1841, the Black River Woolen Mills 
in Factory Village were burned; also elsewhere mentioned. 

On the 21st of March, 1848, at 3 o'clock a. m., a fire occurred 
in an old stone shop, in the rear of the Union Mills, and a little 
above, which spread rapidly to the buildings on the island oppo- 
site, and to others above, which, with the bridge, were rapidly 
consumed; and two men, named Leonard Wright, and Levi 
Palmer, perished in the flames, having entered a woolen mill 
for the purpose of rescuing property. Among the buildings 
burned, were the paper mill of Knowlton & Rice, the satinet 
factory of Mr. Patridge, occupied by W. Conkey, a row of me- 
chanics' shops on the island, &c. This fire threw many laborers 
and mechanics out of employment, and was seriously felt by the 
public. Contributions for the sufferers were raised in the village, 
and nearly $1,100 were distributed among them. 

Early in the morning of May 13, 1849, a fire occurred in 
the rear of the American Hotel, corner of Arsenal and W^ashington 
streets, which swept over a considerable portion of the business 
part of the village, and consumed an immense amount of pro- 
perty. The American Hotel, and out buildings, Paddock's Block, 
Woodruff's Iron Block, and all the buildings on both sides of 
Court Street, as far down as the clerk's office, were burned. The 
Episcopal Church, three printing offices, about thirty extensive 
stores, the past office. Black River Bank, Wooster Sherman^s 
Bank, Henry Keep's Bank, town clerk's office. Young Men's 
Association, surrogate's office, and many dwelling houses, were 
in the burnt district. This w^as by far the most disastrous fire 
that has occurred in the county, and nothing more fully proves 

Watertotcn. 285 

the enterprise of the place than the quickness with which it re- 
covered I'rom the disaster. While the flames were still ra^ring, 
preparations for rebuilding wore made, hy purchasing mate- 
rials, and laborers weresetm pulling the bricks, still hot, ttoui the 
smouldering ruins, and laying the foundations of new and larger 
buildings on the site of the former. The sitva of the burnt build- 
ings were, in many instances, sold for a s:rvater sum than 
the same, with the huildinga on thaUj would have previously 

During the ensuing summer the village exhibited an industry, 
among masons and carpenters, which had never been equaled, 
and the external appearance of the village has been decidedly 

On the 24th of September, 1850, a fire occmred on Sterling 
street, from which the burning shingh'S were wafted to the steeple 
of the Universalist Church, and when first noticed, had kindled 
a flame not largrer than that of a candle; but 1 efore the place 
could be reached, il had enveloped the spire in flames, beyond 
hope of arresting it, and the building was consumed With the 
utmost exertions of the firemen and citizens of the village, the 
fire was prevented from extending further. 

On the 27th of January, 1851, Perkins' Hotel, on the site of 
the Merchants' Excljange, was burned, with a large block on 
Washington street, adjacent. The loss was estimated at about 

On the 16th of October, 1852, a fire occurred on the opposite, 
or west side of Washington street, winch consinned all the build- 
ings south of Paddock\s Block, viz: Hungerford's Block, Citizen's 
Bank, and Sherman's Block. Tlie loss was estimated at about 
$14,000, of which the greater part was insure<l. 

Mechanics' Row, below the I'nion Wills, was burned Novem- 
ber 5, 1852; loss about $20,000, of which, between $6,000 and 
$7,000 were insured. From fifty to sixty mechanics were thrown 
out of employment ; and one young man, Hudson Haddock, aged 
nineteen, perished in the flames while endeavoring to rescue pro- 

On the evening of July 23, 1853, a fire broke out in the 
extensive foundry, car factory and machine shop of Horace \Y. 
Woodruff, Esq., on the north bank of the river, opposite Beebee's 
Island, which, with all its contents was rapidly consumed. About 
seventy men were thrown out of employment by this calamity, 
^'hich was felt by great numbers, indirectly concerned in the 
works, and by the public generally. 

On the night of December 1 1, 1853, a fire consumed the build- 
ing erected for a tannery, but used as a sash and butter tub fac- 
tory, on the south side of Beebee's Island, adjoining the bridge, 
iod owned by Messrs. Farnham & Button. 

Widertown. 287 

>n after the firo of 1849, Norris .Nf. Woudniir c-rwlml iln- 
)us and elegant hotel, tlmt adorns thi- riurtli atilu of Ihi.- 
e, and there arose, sUnultanLiiii.s. fmni the iislies oi Ihe lonut;]', 
ige of bui)[|iii<;.s, extending; (Inwn Ctiiiit i)ir(.-i;I, arxl on 
ington Street, fronting upon the })ubljL' mail, (liat fui- arclii- 
al beauty Lave few suiieriiHS. Pruiiiiiient amunij these are 
addock Buildings, including \\k Aniuiiv. ^vljk-ii, from its 
ining the jmst office, tt-kgraph ofliie, &.C., has become a 
of much import a nee. This buildtniri-xtends from Wiishini;- 
I Arcade Street, is roofed with glass, and eoiitain'S, on each 
both on Ihe ground llnor and a callerv, a range of stores 
ffices, the whole of which are airy and well lii.'hteil. Al 
190ns this affords a dry anil condorlable promenade, and is a 
of much resort. 

YitiB on Wathin^laa Strtrt ami the Public S^jwire. 

e engraving represents Ihe blocks owned by L. l*addock, R. 
ungerford, O. €. Uiley, William il. Anfjcl, and d. V. Slier- 
Thenew Masonic llali is reprcseultd in the last building 
ae, with arched windows. 
e plans of these buildinss, represtntcd in the engraving, 

drawn by Mr. Otis L. WhtL-loLl-. aji artist resident in the 
je, by whom most of the now buildingfi, ihat adorn the 
S of Watertown, wen- planriwl. The general features of 

crliRces are shown liy (lie amiexcd engravijiL's, and have, 
leir object, to unite an elegant exterior, with a coiumodioua 

288 fVaterlomt. 

iiilurnaf nribinpriiHTil. ;inil wlnTf ]>Iacr(l in conlinuous >ilocl 

CroKHtrU Hulcl. Court Slrtit, Waltrtoitn. 

ns (III tlif Public Square ami Court Slrotl, ihe ttTtct producei 
very liiu-. 

Mcr>hn,,li' i:^clw»:.. Wo.l.rtf' 

fVtaertoum. 289 

The Merchants' Exchange, erect«J during the sutnmer of 
1863, b J G. and W. N. Woodruff, will compare, in architectural 
taate and splendor, with zny edifice of the class in the state. It 
is situated on the corner of Washington Street and the Public 
iSquBTe, having a front of 117) feet on thefonner,and85feetoii 
the latter, with a height of 60 feet. The first story is devoted to 
atores, the second to offices, and the third to a saloon, which, fw 
size, conreoieDCe of arrangement, and beauty of deCDrationa, is 
unsurpassed by any, except in our largest cities. This room is 
65 by 86, and 30 feel high, adapted in its arrangementa for 
concerts, theatrical exhibitions, balls, and public meetings; and 
its walls and ceiling are adorned by elegant fresco paintingSj 
executed with much taste and ability, by £. H. Whitaker, of 
Boston. This building was erected after the plans of Mr. 
Wheelock, at a cost of about $25,000. 

The taste which has been exhibited within two or three years, 
in the erection of private dwellings, cannot fail of being noticed 
and admired by strangers; and this, if continu«l, will 

Rtiidtnct of O. v. Braitiard, Wathitiglm Slrttt. 
•DOB render the village as conspicuous among the inland towns 
of ^e state, for the classic elegance of its private as well as its 
public buildings, as it already has become for the immensity of 
its water power, and the extraordinary combination of facilities 
for manufacturing purposes which it 

The enterprise which has led to the erection of water works, 
during the past season, has been already noticed. On the 23d of 
November, 1853, the pumps were set in operation, and, after 
working about thirty minutes, the water made its appearance in 

980 fVatertoum. 

the reservoir, at an elevation of nearly two bundred feet, and 
distance of a mile from the village. An experiment made with 
1 hydrant, with an inch pipe, showed that water could be throwa 
over the liberty pole on Factory Square, about 120 feet high, and 
the question appears to be settled beyond doubt that these valu- 
able works will answer the end for which they were erected, and 
that the village will henceforth possess the means of controlling 
fires, which have so often in times past laid waste the most flou- 
rishing portions of the place. 

A part of this improvement is to consist of a fountain, in the 
centre of the public square, on each side of which an oval park 
is to be laid out, and enclosed and planted with trees. The basin 
of the fountain is forty feet in diameter, and made of cut stone, 
and the jets will be supplied from a reservoir, one hundred and 
eighty feet above this level. 

Early in 1852, measures were taken for supplying the village 
with gas light. Messrs. Walworth, Nason and Guild, had, by a 
village ordinance passed September 9, 1851, secured the exclu- 
sive privilege of supplying the village with rosin gas for ten 
years, and on the 28ih of Feb., 1852, an association, styled 
the Wateriown Gas Light Company y was organized, with a ca- 
pital of $20,000. In the same year the principal buildings in the 
Dusiness portion of the village were supplied, and during the 
summer of 1853, pipes were laid through many of the principal 
streets and to private houses. A proportionate addition was 
made to the manufactory, and these improvements will be ex- 
tended as the wants of the public demand. 

Several social libraries have been formed in this town, the first 
of which was the Watertoion Social Library ^ May 14, 1805; 
Wm. Huntington, Corlis Hinds, Hart Massey, Henry Jewett, and 
Daniel Brainard, trustees. The Farmer's Instructor^ was a li- 
brary company, formed June 8, 1813, with Wm. Parkinson, Davis 
Doty, Cyrenus Woodworth, Cyrus Butterfield, Simeon Woodruff, 
and Ira Delano, trustees. It was located near the line of Rut- 
land. The Watertoum Franklin Library ^ formed Feb. 12, 1829, 
with Chas. £. Clarke, Ralph Clapp, John Sigourney, Daniel 
Lee, Isaac H. Bronson, Clarke Rice, Otis Colwell, Henry L. 
Harvey, Baker Massey, Alvin Hunt, Ira Brewster, and Wm. 
Smith, trustees, had formed a collection of books, that were sold 
in February, 1834, when the society disbanded. 

The Young Men's Association, was formed by the appointment 
of officers, Dec. 3, 1840, and the adoption of a constitution, 
which provided for the annual election of a president, two vice 
presidents, a recording and a correspondingsecretary, a treasurer, 
and eleven managers, who were to constitute together, an execut- 
ive committee, appoint a librarian, and have ^e general charge 

fFaterlown. 2U1 

uid supervision of the interests of the association. Citizens of 
Watertown, between the ages of sixteen and forty, might become 
members, by paying $1 admission fee, and $2 annually. 

On the 17th of April, 1841, an act of incorporation was passed, 
by which D. D. Otis, O. V. Brainard, S. S. Cady, Abraham Rea- 
mer, J. M. Clark, George R. Fairbanks, and Samuel Fairbanks, 
were constituted a body corporate, under the name of The Young 
Men's Associaton, for Mutual Improvement, in the Village of 
VVatertown, with the usual liabilities and immunities, and 
power to hold real and personal estate, to an amount not exceed- 
ing $ J 0,000. 

The introductory address was delivered by the Hon. Joseph 
Mullin, Dec. 17, 1800, and weekly lectures and debates were 
continued during the winter seasons. A library with about four 
hundred volumes, was opened, April 3, 1841, and had increased 
to nearly two thousand volumes, when the premises occupie<l by 
the association, were destroyed in the great fire of May 13, 1849, 
and no further efforts were made to revive it 

The first officers elected, were D. D. Oi'iSy preaidtnt; Orville 
V. firainard,^r5^ vice jtresident ; IthamerB. Crawe, second vice 
Resident; Joseph Mullin, corresponding secretary; W. Genet, 
treasurer; Geo. W. Hungerford, S. Fairbanks, James F. Starbuck, 
A. M. Corss, R. Barnes, J. 11. Button, J. C Patridge, F. VV. 
Hubbard, K. Hannahs, M. Beebee, and T. H. Camp, managers. 

Religious Societies, — Meetings for religious worship were 
held by missionaries from New England, almost as soon as the 
town began to settle; and in 1802, there were three worshipping 
assemblies in this town and Rutland. On the 3d of June, 1803, 
a Congregational Church was formed by the Rev. Ebenezer La- 
zelle, at the barn of Caleb Burnham, at Burrville, consisting at 
first of fifteen members. Gershom Tuttle and William Fellows 
were appointed first deacons; and in the same summer stated 
meetings were held at the house of John Blevin. Missionaries 
sent out from the New Hampshire and Connecticut Missionary 
Societies, occasionally supplied the church with preaching; 
among whom were the Rev. B. Tyler, N. Dutton, and others. 
On the 25th of October, 1815, the Rev. Daniel Banks was or- 
dained and installed the pastor of this church, and Rutland, by 
m ecclesiastical council convened for the purpose; the sermon 
being preached by the Rev. Isaac Clinton, of Lowville, and the 
charges given by the Rev. Enos Bliss. 

In January, 1821, the form of government was changed to 
Presbyterian; the first elders being Wm. Brown, James Stone, T. 
Redfield, J. Van Nest, John Sawyer, Hart Massey, Wm. llunting- 
tOD, Asaph Ilorton, and llerrick. The first deacons were 
T. Redfield, and Hart Massey. 

292 Watertaum. 

Mr. Banks remained tlie pastor of this chinch until February 
28, 1821, when he lelt for Potsdam, where he subsequently resi- 
ded as a pastor, and the principal of St. Lawrence Academy, until 
his death in 1827. On the 12lh of April, 1821, the Rev. George 
S. Boardman was employed; and July 26, of the same year, he 
was installed over this church, where he remained until March 
8, 1837, when he left, and was succeeded. May 20, 1837, by the 
Kev. Isaac Brayton who was ordained and installed, August 31st, 
of the same year, and has since remained the pastor. 

Three churches have sprung from this; a Congreo^ational one 
in 1830, since becouje extinct. The second Presbyterian Church 
of Watertown village, 1831, and a Congregational Church at 
Burrville, in 1836. 

The first religious corporation, under the general statute, was 
formeil February 11, 1811, under the name of the Religious 
Society of Watertown, of which the trustees of first electeil 
were Tilley Richardson,'* John Sikes,Thos. Sawyer, Hart Massey, 
Amos Benedict, Aaron Brown, and \Vm. Fellows, trustees; and a 
vole was taken to erect a meeting house as soon as practicable, 
but the war which followed prevented. The Watertown Ecclesi- 
astical Society was iormtil May 25, 18 14, with Jabez Foster, Hart 
Massey, and Orren Stone, trustees, which, however, etlected no- 
thing; and June 27, 1811, the Watertown and Rutland Union So- 
ciety hail been formed, which also failed to erect a church. The 
brick academy erected in 18 1 1, on the site of the First Presbyterian 
Church, was, with the Court House, used for several years lor 
meetings, until 1820, when a stone edifice, occupying the site of 
the present Presbyterian Church, on Washington Street, was 
erected, and on the 1st of January 1821, it was dedicated by the 
pastor, the sermon being preached from Isaiah Ixiv, 11. 

Early in 1850, it was decided to rebuild the stone church, and 
in May it was demolislie<l, and the present elegant brick church 
erected on its site. It is sixty-three by one hundred feet, and 
can seat one thousand peisons. It is built after the plans and 
designs of Mr. Otis L. Wheelock to whom the village is hidebted 
for the plans of most of the ne v public buildings. The church 
was dedicated April 10, 1851, the sermon being preached by the 
pastor, from Psalms cxx, 1. The cost of the house was about 
$20,000. The churt:h now nuuibers about 338 communicantSi 

The Second Pn.'ihi/tvrian Church was formed July 20, 1831, 
by the Rev. Abel L. Crandall, and Geo. S. Boardman, a committee, 
appointed for the purpose, l)y the Watertown Presbytery. It 
consisted at first of thirty-one members, dismissed for that pur- 
pose from the First Church, and tour from the Congregational 

* Mr. UiclianUon Jit'd January 14, 1S52, a^ed J):J yi-ars. He was asol- 
dicr ot' the revolution, and emigrated from New Ilanip&hirp, in 1802. 

FirMi I'rttbyUriaa Church. Waltrlot 

294 fVatertown. 

Church; Lewis R. Sandiforth, was chosen Ruling Elder. Pastors, 
James R. Boyd, installed Sept. 7, 1832; Marcus Smithy Feb. 10, 
1836; Wm. E. Knox, Feb. 14, 1844; and Peter Snyder, June 20, 
1848. Their church, at the corner of Factory and Mechanic 
Streets, was built in 1831, at a cost of about $5,500, ot which 
Mr. Beebee, proprietor of the JelTerson Cotton Mills, contributed 
about $3,000. This church has received nearly 700 members; 
present number (June 1853) 187. About 100 members fell off 
within two years, by removals and other causes, resulting from 
the burning of the cotton mills, in 1833. The society, connected 
with this church, was formed Oct. 10, 1831, with Josiah W. 
Baker, Henry Kitts, and Geo. W. Knowlton, trustees. 

Trinity Church, The first Episcopal service was performed 
in the town of Watertown, early in 1812, at the old school house, 
on the site of the present Universalisi Church, by the Rev. Da- 
niel Nash, of Otsego County. In 1826, it was again performed 
by the late Bishop Hobart, in the Presbyterian Church, and the 
same year the Rev. William Lynn Keese, stationed at Brown- 
ville, preached occasionally, here and at Sackets Harbor. On 
the 31st of May, 1828, a legal organization was effected, under 
the Rev. Joshua M. Rogers, of Turin, of which Ira Wright, and 
Wm. D. Ford, were church wardens, and W^m. Cowen, Samuel 
McClure, Philo S. Johnson, Loveland Paddock, Forrester Dexter, 
Henry L. Harvey, Henry Bronson, Wm. McCullock, and W'alter 
Woodward, were vestrymen. Mr. Rogers continued to attend 
every fourth Sunday for some time. In 1829, they engaged the 
pastoral labors of the Rev. Hiram Adams, then a missionary of 
the united parishes of W'atertown and Sackets Harbor, at which 
places he preached on alternate sabbaths. Services were at first 
held at the Court House. In 1829, a Sunday school was opened, 
having at first sixteen scholars, and two teachers, and for four 
years, not more than twenty-five scholars were assembled. 

In 1830, a subscription was circulated to obtain the means to 
erect a church, and a petition for aid was forwarded to Trinity 
Church, New York; but these efforts failed, and the parish was 
several nionths without religious services, except, occasionally, 
by the Rev. Mr. Gear, the successor of Mr. Keese, at Brown- 
ville. In the fall of 1831, the Rev. Mr. Salmon was hired six 
months, but remained a year, and in February, 1832, the efforts 
to raise means for building a church, were resumed with vigor. 
A lot was secured, but the sum was still short of that necessary, 
when Henry D. Sewall, engaged to build the house on the sub- 
scription, and take the sum to be received from the sale of pews 
to pay the balance. A wooden church was accordingly com- 
menced in the spring of 1S32, and finished externally the same 
year. In June 1833, Trinity Church, New York, gave $1,000, 

tFaterUrtcn. 295 

to the society, on condition that the edifice should be of stone, 
and, when done, free from debt. As the building was already 
up, the condition, prescribing the material, was modified. In 
1833« Samuel Brown, of Brownville, raised $tiOO, for this church, 
in New York, and G. C. Sherman contributed Jiberally towards 
its completion, by giving the buihiing of a church in Ellisburgh, 
of which he had acquired the title, on condition that the church 
shouhl be furnished with an organ and a bell; both of which were 
procured in August, of the same year. The church being com- 
pleted, was consecrated on the 18th of September, 1833. 

The frame of this buildini^ was 40 by 60 feet, with a square 
tower of 16 feet base, projecting 8 feet from the front, with a 
beJfry formed by two parallelograms, crowning each other, with 
recessed corners, two leet square, above which arose an octa- 
gonal tinne<i spire, tapering to a point at 100 feet from the ground. 
The church had two windows in the front, and four on each side, 
with semicircular tops. The external design and details of the 
tower were modelled from a church in Cambridge, Mass. In 
1834, Mr. Gear, of Brownville, was employed a part of the time, 
and in 1835, the Rev. — Hickox, of Rochester, was called, ami 
the church prospered much under his labors. From May, 1837, 
till April, 1839, the Rev. Charles Ackley was employed, and in 
September of the latter year, the Rev. John F. Fish was engaged 
and remained until Sept. 22, 1844. During his ministry, the 
numbers of the church increased from f>6 to 134; there were 94 
confirmations, 127 baptisms, 142 marriages, and 55 burials. 

In January, 1845, the Rev. Dr. \Vm. M. Carmichael was em- 
ployed antl remained ai)Out a year, when he was succeeded in 
August 1846, by the Rev Levi \V. Norton, who continued the 
rector till the spring of 1853. On the 17lh of July, 1S53, the 
Rev. Geo. Morgan Hill was employed, and the parish is now iu 
a very flourishing state, exhibiting in October, 1853, the follow- 
ing statistics ; — 

Families, comprising the conjjregation, . . 170 

Present number of communicants, . . . 175 

There is a flourishing Sunday School of 20 teachers and 80 

The church originally erected was i)urned in the memorable 
fire of May 13, 1849, and on the 14th May 1850, the corner 
stone of the prt^sent edifice was laid, with religious services, by 
the Episcopal clergy of the county. The building is after the 
plans of Mr. R. L})john, of New^ York, and is purely gothic. The 
dimensions of the nave are 50 by 100 feet; those of the church, 
25, by 21 feet. The tower which rises from an angle of the 
building, is 160 feet high, and the whole cost from $12,000 to 
$16000, and can accommodrite 1,(X)0 worshipers. It was conse- 
^ruietl by Bishop De Lancy, January 23, 185 J. 

Trinity Church, Wi 

Tlie bniltlinc i.oinii.itt.ic were L. I'a.l.lo.'k, R. G. Vaughan, B. 
BaRlty, Joel Hloml, »ml iliriirii Ak-iTill. 

The huiltiinsj stands on tin: norlli stiic of Court-street, near the 
county L'lerk's oflice. TlK^sdciotv ri'iieivt-d towards its erectioD, 
8600 from Trinity Cliiirrh, New York. We are indebted for most 
of the facts relaliiin to iIr' early organization of this church, to 
an Easter memorial, ()rearhe(i"hv ttK- Kov. J. F. Fish, March 27, 
1842, and jiublished Miori after in llic Jiffersonian. 

The Unircr.w/ht Siir.ii-ti/ was Ibrined at the Court Hoase, 
April '26, 1S:J0, by a iiieeliup: assembled on the call of twelve 
citizens. Levi BiiltpHielil, Chaunuey Calhoun, Hunry Caswell, 
Simeon Scheeics, and DariaiDoly, were chosen first trustees. A 
Iep;al society was formed January 3, IS23, of which Joseph 
Sheldon, Reuben Gnodalc, Jchiel M. Howell, Jonathan Baker, 
and Eliot Makepcaci', were the lirst trustees. This society in 
1824, built a -stone chiirdi on the site of the present one at a 
cosi of about $~,(>00, which was diiiicaleii Nov. 10, 1824, and 



hnrnrd September S9, 1850. The present church was erected in 
lS5l-:i,at a cost of from $9,000 to $10,000, nnd dedicated Novem- 
W4, 1853. Achurch organization wasTorraedJuneSl, 1833, of 
14 meinlcrt), under Rev. Pitt Morse, the first clergjraan, who 
irinained Liil 1825, and after a year's absence again sustained 
tile charge of the society for many years. He was succeeded 
1^" Kev. \Vm- H. Waggoner, Mho remained four years. Rev. 
H Hnynton was next employed, and has been succeeded by the 
Kev. John H. Stewart, the present clergyman. During the lime 
tbttt Mr. Itnynton remained, the church organization was given 
vp^ and has not since been resumed. 

VnivtTtalUt Church, H'u 

The church fronts upon the public square, near ils south east 
Comer, and is after the plans of 0. L. Whceloek, of lliis village. 

A Baptist church was formed in tlie town of Watertown, at 
I very early day. In I8(I9, it reported 38; in 1810, 59; in 1819, 
it numbered 121. The church at the village, is said to have 
been organizeil, under the supervision of KIder Norman Guileau, 
May 29th, 1823, of seventeen member?. The succession of pas- 
tors have been, Jacob Knapp, John Miller, Charles Clark, L. T. 
Ford, W. J. Crane, John A. Nash, and J. S. Holme, the present 
psstor. A society was formed, Oct. 13, 1827, in Factory Village, 
vith Lemuel L. Grady, Caleb S. Henderson, and Harvey Far- 
rington, trustees, who erected in 1828, the church now occupied 
hy Uie Catholics. In 1837,havingsoIdthis, they erected a church 

298 fVatertawn. 

of wood, at the east end of the Public Square, at the corner of 
State Street, which was dedicated January 10, 1838, ami burned 
March 8, 1846. The present one was soon after erected on the 
same ground, and lias recently been enlarged and much improved 
in internal arran<^ements. 

The Methodist Episcopal denomination, at an early ilay, organ- 
ized a class, and November 27, 1821, a society, with Jonathan 
Co wen, Titus Ives, John Collins, Thomas Potter, and Henry H. 
Coffeen, trustees. On the 9th of Dec. 1822, and Dec. 30, 1824, 
it was reorganized, and subsequently erected on Arsenal Street 
a stone church, since taken down; and. from the increase of num- 
bers, the Methodists thought proper to form two new societies. 
The Society of the Stntc Street Methodist Episcopal Churchy of 
Watertowii, was formed January 29, 1849, with Thomas Baker, A. 
J. Peck, 11. Scovill, S. K.Carter, A. Cook, Geo. Porter, Edmond 
Davis, J. M. Sigourney, and 1. lluckins, trustees, who the same 
year erectetl the elegant church, adjoining the Jefferson County 
Institute, and represented in our engraving of that seminary. 

The present Arsenal Street Methodist Church, was built in the 
summer of 1851. 

The Burrville Society in Watertown, was formed Oct. 14, 
1833, Craft. P. Kenible, Geo. W. Jinks, and Elnathan Lucas, 
being trustees, and subsequently erected a union church, at a cost 
of about S; 1,550. 

iSV. ,Mary'K Church, Watertown (Catholic), was purchased 
from tlie Baptists, and mass was first said in it, July 4, 1838, by 
Kev. Michael (fil bride, the first resident priest. He has been 
succeeded by Uev. Philip (liliick. Rev. R. O'Dowde, Rev. — 
McFarland, and Rev. — Fenniley, the present priest. 

The United Baptist and Presbyterian Society of Watertown. 
was formed Dec. 1, 1823; Orni Stowell, Jason Richard, and 
Samuel F. Ballard, were chosen trustees. 

The Second Orthodox Congregational Society in W'atertown, 
was formed by citizens of lloundsfield, Adams and Watertown, 
Jan. 5, 1842, wilhS. F.Ballard, Chancey Read, and ElishaRead, 
trustees. Neither of these societies erected places of worship. 

The First Wcslcyan Methodist Church of Watertown, was 
formed Dec. 19, 184S, with J\4er Baltuff, Charles Bostwick, 
Elim Holcomb, Richard Fryar, and Francis J. J. Blodget, trustees. 
This society occupies a part of the old stone building, erected by 
the trustees of tht; Waterfoirn Academy . 

The ('hristian denomination, have one organization in the 

fTibuu 299 


This town was erected from Le Ray and Leyden, April 2dy 
1813, by an act which altered the line of the two counties, and 
annexed a part of Lewis to Jefferson. The first town meeting 
was directed to be held at the house of Thomas Brayton, Jr., 
and the poor moneys of the three towns were to be equitably 
divided by the last tax list. For many years the town meetings 
have been held at the Checkered House, four miles from Car- 
thage Village. The first town officers elected were: Thomas 
Brayton, supervisor; Elihu Stewart, derk; John B. Bossout, 
Caleb Fulton, and Enoch Griffin, assessors; Robert C. Hastings, 
collector; Henry Lewis and Alfred Freeman, overseers of the 
foor; Henry Lewis, Freedom Gates, and Thomas Brayton, 
commissioners of highways. 

Supervisors. — 1814-15, Thomas Brayton; 1816, Alfred Free- 
man; 1817, Francis Lloyd, T. Brayton to fill vacancy; 1818-19, 
Nathan Brown; 1820-2, Thomas Brayton; 1823-7, Eli West; 
1828-9, Thomas Baker; 1830-2, Eli West; 1833, Walter 
Nimocks; 1834, WMlIiam Bones; 1835-6, Walter Nimocks; 
1837, William Bones; 1838, Oliver Child; 1839, Walter 
Nimocks; 1840-1, Eli West; 1842, Jonathan Wood; 1843, 
Walter Nimocks; 1844, Milton H. Carter; 1845, Charles 
Strong; 1846, Hiram McCollom; 1847-9, Simeon Fulton; 
1850-1, William Christian; 1852-3, Horace Hooker. 

In 1815-6-7-9-20-3, a wolf bounty of $5. In 1827-b, of $10, 
with $5 for wolf whelps. In 1831, the path masters were al- 
lowed to lay out three days' labor in destroying noxious weeds. 
In 1846, strong resolutions were passed in favor of the Black 
River Canal. 

Settlement was commenced in this town about 1798, by Henry 
Boutin, who had purchased 1000 acres of Rodolph Tillier, 
agent of the French Company, on the east side of the river, at 
the village of Carthage, and made a considerable clearing, with 
a company of men^ in this year and the next. Jean Baptiste 
Bossout,* from the High Falls, settled at about the same time; 
and afler the abandonment of the clearing, remained the sole 
inhabitant several years, keeping a ferry and inn for travelers. 
This ferry he kept up till a bridge was built. 

Boutin was drowned below the village, a few years after his 
first settlement, and J. Le Ray was, July 17, 1815, appointed to 
administer the estate, which was sold at auction, and purchased 

m I 

* Generally known as Battue. He was a native of Troyes, in France: 
cmme to America with Steuben, and died in Champion, July 26th, 1847, a^ed 


300 ff'ihta. 

by Vincent Le Ray * from whom the titles in Carthage VillagCy 
and vicinity, have been since derived. The place which hacf 
previously been known as the Long Falls, was, on the erection 
of a post office, called Carthage. In 1806, David Coffeenf 
built a grist mill on the west bank, and constructed a dam 
partly across the river, and this was subsequently completed b> 
those owning the forge, &c., on the east bank. A forge was built 
in 1816, above the site of the furnace, afterwards built, which 
was burned the same year; and soon after, James Barney, Fran- 
cis Lloyd, and Nathan Brown, from Fort Ann, New York, hav- 
ing leased, for ten years, the water power, with privileges of ore, 
coal, &.C., erected a forge in the lower part of the village, which 
was got into successful operation, making chiefly mill irons and 
anchors. This business gave the first impulse to the growth of 
the place, but Mr. Barney having soon alter died, the property 
reverted to Le Ray. The purchase money for lands sold by the 
Antwerp Company having been invested in United States stocks, 
was subsequently realized by the company in money, and on the 
20th of May, 1816, loaned to Mr. Le Ray for the purpose of 
building a furnace, and opening a road between the furnace and 
the St. Lawrence, with such other improvements as might be 
necessary to enhance the value of their remaining lands. The 
Alexandria road, and other communications, were opened ac- 
cordingly; and in 1819, a blast furnace was erected under the 
supervision of Claudius S. Quilliard. A refining forge, with two 
additional fires, was built in 1820-1, and in the fall of 1820 the 
furnace was got in operation, making in 10 weeks, 141 tons of 
iron. The stack was 30 feet square at the base, 24 feet high; 
Inside diameter from 7 to 10 feet At first, bog ore was used, 
which was procured from swamps in this county, and from near 
the river in Lewis County. Ferrigenous bowlders of gneiss were 
at first employed as a flux. About 1838, specular ores from St. 
Lawrence County, and from Antwerp and Philadelphia in this 
county, began to be used, either alone or mixed with bog ores. 
From the beginning till 1836, cold air waj used in the blast, 
when an imperfect apparatus for heating the air was introduced; 
and in 1840, a more efficient heating apparatus was employed. 
In 1845, the cold blast was again used. The premises have 
been four times burned, and the accident known as ^^ blowing 
up," had several times happened, being caused by the clogging 
up of damp loomy ores, below which a cavity will form. When 
the supports below melt away, the mass above falls, and the 
dampness in the ore being subjected to a sudden and intense 
heat, is changed instantly into steam, and explodes with ter- 

' * Jefferson Deeds, liber P, p. 511. 
t Mr. Coffeen died at Carthsge, January 30th, 1828. 

mina. 301 

rific violence. The accident is known only where bog ores are 

\ised alone. Upon using rock ores, the height of the furnace 

was increased to 28 feet, and two tcwels or pipes for air were 

uised instead of one. The Kearney ore was drawn 24 miles, and 

cost from $1*25 to $2*25 on the bank, and about $3 for drawing. 

The ore from the ShurtiifTbed, in Philadelphia, 17 miles distant, 

cost $1*50 to $2 for drawing, 50 cents for raising, and 50 cents 

for the ore. It was worked alone sometime; yielded about 35 

per cent, and made a very hard metal, known as " cold short." 

The Carthage furnace produced from 2 to 3 tons of iron daily, 

from 8 to 10 months a year, until 1846, when it was abandoned, 

and has so fallen into decay that it would require rebuilding 

throughout to be used. It belongs to the Antwerp Company. 

Nail works were erected in 1828, and continued about ten 
years: the nails being made from bar iron. In 1846, an extensive 
nail factory and rolling mill were built, by Hiram McCoUom, 
which have since been continued, and in 1849-50, an extensive 
building by the same for a factory, which has not been put in 

The state road to the Oswegatchie, opened in 1802-6, afforded 
the principal avenue to St. LawTence County, and made this 
point a thoroughfare of much importance, as through it must 
pass all the travel to the central and southern parts of the state. 
The St. Lawrence turnpike, built in 1812-13, added another 
avenue to the northern settlements, and made the erection of 
a bridge necessary. 

An act was passed, June 8, 1812, authorizinsf Russell Attwater 
and associates, "to build a toll bridge, over Black River, at the 
place where the state road, leading to Oswegatchie, crosses the 
same, being at the head of the Long Falls, in Champion, in the 
county of Jefferson." The principal party in this enterprise, is 
understood to have been David Parish, the eminent financier and 
extensive purchaser of northern lands. The act required the bridge 
to be sixteen feet wide, well built, and completed before No- 
vember, 1813. Before opening, it was to be examined by the 
road commissioners of Champion; and the act was to continue 
in force twenty years. If damaged, and not repaired within 
twelve months, it was to revert to the state. A bridge was 
accordingly erected in 1812, the architect being Ezra Church, 
and maintained till 1829. On the 28th day of March, 1829, the 
act was extended twenty years, as the bridge was so decayed 
that it required to be rebuilt. Early in 1829, an effort was made 
to secure by subscription the means of building a free bridge; a 
meeting of the towns was called, and the piers of the toll bridge 
^ere purchased for $500. At this time, those interested in the 
lower part of the village, among whom the most active was 

302 mina. 

Joseph C. Budd, started a project of erecting a bridge across the 
river, among the islands, ^hich abound in the river at the Long 
Falls, and this project, aided by Mr. Le Ray and others, led to 
the erection of a passage across the river, by five bridges, thrown 
from island to island. At the next spring flood, this bridge was 
injured, but it was again repaired. The next flood so injured the 
work, that it was never repaired, and it&>oon mostly fell into ruin. 
The upper bridge, on the former side, through the influence of 
Dr. Eli West and others, was built by subscription the same 
summer (1829), as a free bridge, at a cost of $1,600, and lasted 
eleven years, when, in J840, it being found necessary to rebuild, 
a meeting of Champion and Wilna was called, which procured an 
act. May 7, allowing a loan from the school fund of $2,500 to 
Champion, $750 toLe Ray, $2,000 to Wilna, $750 toPamelia, 
for bridges; among others, this. The loan was to be repaid by 
eight installments, with legal interest. A covered bridge was 
built, at a cost of $5,000, which lasted till 1853, when prepara- 
tions had been made to rebuild, and the contract was let An 
act was passed, April 11, 1853, assuming it as a state work, on 
the ground that it was over a portion of the river, which is 
acknowledged to be a part of the Black River Canal. During 
the summer and fall of 1853, a substantial bridge w*as built by 
the state. 

Within ten years from the first improvement in this town, 
settlements had be^un along the main road north, and inns had 
been opened by Alfred Freeman, at the Checkered House, and 
Henry Lewis, nine miles from the river. Few farms were located 
before the war. The iron business, with the several branches of 
industry which it fostered, with the advantages of a valuable 
water power, and the vicinity of an early settled district, on the 
opposite side of the river, gave a gradual growth to the village, 
of Carthage. The prospective advantages which the Black 
River Canal promised to this point, have created hopes of future 
importance, and in some instances led to investments and specu- 
lations in real estate, to an extent that the event did not warrant; 
yet, there are few localities, that combine so many elements of 

I)rosperity as this. The canal, though so long delayed as to have 
ost much of its importance, is now as certain of speedy com- 
pletion as the Empire State is of existence, and will afford a slow 
but cheap and certain access to markets, for lumber and mineral 
products. Three rail roads, one or more of which appear certain 
of being soon opened, will afford at all seasons a ready communi- 
cation with central markets; and an unlimited water power, and 
fertile region around, present a combination of advantages, which 
can not fail of being greatly improved. 

The hydraulic power of Carthage is but partially occupied, 

fFUna. 303 

snd supplies 2 axe factories, 2 cupola furnaces, 1 rolling mill, . 
^nd nail factor}', 1 large tannery (erected in 1830, by Nimocks 
Jc Peck), 2 saw mills, 1 grist mill, 1 forge, and several' establish- 
ments for planing, turning, &c. There are, in the village, 
churches of the Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian 
«rder, and from 1000 to 1200 inhabitants. In 1850 the census 
^aye 800. In' 1842, a building was erected by Harrison Miller, 
for an academy, and has since been held as private property, and 
occupied as a high school. It is now owned by Mr. B. F. Bush, 
^ldH is in successful operation. 

The Village of Carthage was incorporated May 26, 1841. 
*The bounds were made to begin at a point south 45° east thirty 
<^hains, from the south corner of the stone nail factory; thence 
jiorth 45° east sixty chains; thence north 45° west sixty chains; 
whence south 46^ west to the line between Champion and Wilna, 
and thence to the place of beginning. The charter is after the 
XDodel of that of the village of Seneca Falls, and provides for the 
election of five trustees. 

The first village trustees elected were, in 1841, Virgil Brooks 
^president). Sue! Gilbert, EbenezerHodgkins, Amos Choate, and 
Salter Nimocks. In June, Elijah Horr elected in place of 
ZNimocks. In July, 1841, a fire company of twenty persons was 
formed, of which Samuel A. Budd was chosen captain. Another 
-^u^mpany was formed, in place of this, Aug. 2, 1842, called the 
Washington Fire Company. The following persons have since 
l)een elected trustees; the one first named in each year, in italics, 
l>eing chosen president. 

1842. Virgil Brooks y Amos Choate, Elijah Horr, Eben. Hodg- 
Icins, William Blodget. 

1843. Hiram McCollorriy Joseph C. Budd, Theodore S. Haiji- 
mond, Samuel J. Davis, Alvah H. Johnson. 

1844. Hiram McCollomy Joseph C. Budd, J. P. Hodgkins, 
Kellogg E. Parker, Clark Dodge. 

1845. Eli W^€5^ Hiram McCoUom, Clark Dodge, Suel Gilbert, 
Amos Choate. 

1846. Eli JVesty Hiram McCoUom, Amos Choate, Samuel A. 
Budd, Samuel J. Davis. 

1847. Hiram McCollomy Eli West, Clark Dodge, Suel Gil- 
bert, Seth L. King. 

1848. Hiram McCollomy Alvah H. Johnson, Clark Dodge, 
Seth L. King, Suel Gilbert 

1849. Hiram McCoUomy Clark Dodge, Suel Gilbert, R. Rice, 
S P. Davis. 

1850. Patrick S. Stewarty Walter Nimocks, Horace Hooker, 
Hiram L. Chambers. 

1851. John B. Johnsouy R« Rice, Joseph Crowner, Minor 
Guyot, Charles H. Kimball. 

304 fVilna. 

1852. Eli West, H. C. Rice, Joho Hewit, Samuel C. Hopkins, 

Selh French. 

1853. FAi West^ John S. Edwards, Herman Rulison, Walter 
Nimocks, Charles H. Kimball. 

Near the extreme eastern edge of this town, on Indian River, 
and nine miles by the nearest road from Carthage, is the little 
village of Jfatural Bridge, A reservation, of a mile square, had 
been made here, and a village plat surveyed by Edmund Tucker. 
Improvements commenced here in 1818. In 1819 andl820, mills 
were erected; the early settlers being Zebina Chaffee, Arnold Burr, 
Abel Bingham, Teunis Allen, Stephen Nutting, Charles R. Knight, 
and others. Bingham opened the first store in 1820, and Knight 
the first inn in 1821 and 1822. After the purchase of a large 
tract in this vicinity, by Count Survilliers, he caused a framed 
house to be built here, for his summer residence, and on one or 
two summers, he made a short sojourn at this place. The village 
derives its name from the fact, that, in dry seasons, the water of 
the river finds its way by a subterranean passage, under a mass 
of white lime stone, that here constitutes the rock at the surlace. 
In floods, the excess flows in an open channel on the surface, 
over which a bridge passes. From the soluble character of this 
rock it has been worn into grottos of some interest, which, in 
low water, may be entered a short distance, and here, as else^^ 
where along the junction of the white or primary lime stone and 
the gneiss rock, there occurs a great variety of minerals, which 
afford an inviting field of research, and will be more fully de- 
scribed in our account of the mineralogy of the county. 

Somewhat extensive operations for copper mining were under- 
taken in the fall of 1847, by a Boston company, under the 

direction of Bigelow, in the town of Wilna, about two 

miles from the village of Natural Bridge. 

Carthagenian Library was formed May 12, 1818. Sylvian 
Bullard, David Wright, Nathan Brown, Lanis Ceffeen, Ebene- 
zer Sabins, Seth Hooker, John Wait, Elijah Fulton, Walter 
Nimocks, S. E. D. Angelis, John Hodgkin, and John D.'Belmot, 
were elected first trustees. The collection of this society, amount- 
ing to 500 volumes, was sold at auction June 14, 1845. 

Religioxis Societies, — A Catholic church (St. James') was 
built in 1819, at a cost of $2,000, on a lot of three acres, given 
by Le Ray, who also contributed larp:ely to its erection. A society 
was formed July 20, 1821, with Claudius S. Quilliard, Edward 
Galvin, John Tuley, James and Vincent Le Ray, John Daley, 
and James W^elch, first trustees. The priests have been, the Rev, 

Messrs. John Farnham, James Salmon, Fitz Simmons, M* 

Kelley, M. Gilbride, McFarlane, M. Powers, John Galla- 

gan, and Morris Roach. 

fVorth. 306 

First Baptist Society of Carthage Avas formed February 9, 

1839, with Joel Miller, Joseph P. Ellis, Theodore S. Hammond, 

Harvey Farrington, Jeremiah Laupliear, John Chase, Alvah H. 

Johnson, Samuel W. Gilbert, and JHiram Lauphear, trustees. A 

church was built the next summer, at a cost of about $4,000. 

A church organization had been previously elfected, 
gan to report to the association in 1833, and continued seven 
years, as the church of Wilna. That of Carthage began in 
1840 to report to the association. 

The Fiist Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 
Carthage, was formed November 28, 1839, with Allen Peck, 
£lijah Horr, Hiram Chambers, Nelson Kuloson, Joel Miller, 
Hbenezer Wheeler, Willard Barrett, William L. Chambers, and 
Joel P. Rice, trustees. A church was built the next summer. 

A Methodist Episcopal Society was formed at Natural Bridge, 
and, about 1840, erected a church. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Wood's Settlement (Wil- 
xia) was formed March 26, 1849, with Jonathan Wood, Peter 
Hanson, and Samuel Barnum, trustees. 

The First Presbyterian Society in Carthage was formed No- 
vember 11, 1851, with Hiram McCollom, John Hewitt, and 
Suel Gilbert, trustees. Rev. H. Doane is the present pastor of 
this church, and H. H. W^aite the stated supply of the former. 
A Presbyterian Church was formed at Natural Bridge, and a 
society formed, July {13, 1840, with John Camcross, John J. 
X«asher, and Lewis Decker, trustees. A church was soon begun, 
but not finished for several years. This Church belongs to the 
Ogdensburgh (Old School) presbytery. The Presbyterians have 
« small church edifice at Carthage. 


This town was erected from Lorraine, May 2, 1848; the first * 
dection being held at the school house at Wilcox's Corners. It 
^Mimprises town No. 2, of Boylston's Tract. At a special town 
meeting, held in Lorraine, in February, 1810, the division of the 
^own was unanimously voted; but numbers of settlers in this 
part having left soon after, it was not divided. 

Supervisors.— 1848-9, Albert S. Gillett; 1850, Riley W. 

Oreen; 1851, Jonathan M. Ackley; 1852, Riley W. Green; 

1853, John M. Ackley. The name of the town was selected by 

9 committee chosen for that purpose. Wellington, sT&d Rose- 

^ille, were proposed, but rejected.. 

The eastern portion of the town was divided up among the 
<arly proprietors of the Black River Tract, to make their propor- 
tions equal. These tracts, reckoned from the north to the south, 
Harrison and Hoffman, 1283; Henderson, 649; LoW| 

306 rVorih. 

1576; William Constable, 947; the remainder to Harrison, and 
Hoffman, 22,004 acres. The town was, in part, surveyed in 
November, 1801, and May, 1802, under the direction of Abel 
French, by Joseph Crary. Portions have been sold for their 
taxes, and several duplicate numbers occur in the numbering of 
the lots, that have occasioned much difficulty. The town derives 
its name from General W. J. Worth, of the United States army, 
who became personally known in the county, during the patriot 
disturbances in 1838-^0. 

Settlements commenced under the agency of Abel French, of 
Denmark, an early and prominent agent, originally from Albany. 
In passing through Herkimer Counry, he succeeded in interesting 
a company of citizens, residing in Litchfield, to purchase, in 
common, a large tract in this town, for the purpose of settlement. 
A committee, consisting of Timothy Greenly, Joseph Wilcoic, 
and Elihu Gillet, having visited the tract, and found its location 
and advantages worthy of attention, concluded, on the22d of July, 
! 1802, a contract, with French, the agent of Daniel McCormick 
and Charles Smith, by which they agreed to pay $7,622 for the 
north-west quarter of No. 2. A deed was afterwards executed 
to them, in trust, for themselves and their associates, and a mort- 

frage given. The tract was divided into lots, and drawn by bal- 
ot by the company, who paid over money as they might be able, to 
the above committee, and received bonds for the delivery of deeds, 
when the purchase money should have enabled them to produce 
a clear title. The company consisted, besides the above, of Asaph 
Case, Leonard Bullock, W. Flower, Eli Gillet, Lodwick Edwards, 
John Griswold, Ezekiel Chever, Phineas Rose, Joel Caulkins, 
Abram Ford, Nathan Matoon, Asa Sweet, John Pinear, Phineas 
Stevens, Elijah and David Richmond, John and William Sagas, 
John Houghtailing, and perhaps a few others, neighbors in Her- 
kimer County, and mostly natives of Connecticut. A few settled 
in 1802, and most of the others in 1803, coming in by way of 
the state road and Redfield, with ox teams, and working their 
way through to their destination, with great difficulty. When 
this was fairly reached, their labors were but begun; and pro- 
visions must be obtained at a distance, with no roads but obscure 
paths, and no vehicles but drays formed from the crotch of a tree, 
and drawn by oxen. In 1805, a rude saw and grist mill, under 
one roof, was got in operation; and in 1806, the first school was 
taught in a log barn, by an elderly woman named Brown. The 
Methodists held meetings from an early period, and are at present 
the only religious organization in town. Settlements were com- 
menced near a small branch of South Sandy Creek, which is 
generally known as Wilcox^s Comers^ the seat of WorthvilU 
Post Office. This is about one mile from the south line of Rod- 

Internal Improvements. 307 

xnan, and two miles from the corner of Pinckney. The settlements 
liad made considerable progress, when the rumors of war, that 
filled the country with alarm, induced nearly every settler east 
of the Corners, for a distance of three miles, to abandon the 
towD, and retire to a more interior place. This, with the cold 
seasons that followed, nearly annihilated the settlement, which 
"was abandoned to a common; the mortgage was foreclosed, and 
the greater part of the land reverted to the proprietors. To those 
^who remained, a reasonable clemency was extended, and the 
foreclosure, upon the whole, did no injury to the town. 

In 1845, an edifice, for the purpose of schools and meetings, 
x^BB built at the Corners; and during the last five years, the 
town has rapidly increased in population in the south part 
^bout one quarter of the town, along the east and south line, is 
still a forest, and a considerable portion bears the aspect of .a 
new country. From its great elevation, it is somewhat liable to 
frosts and deep snows; but it is well watered, and the soil is found 
^o be finely adapted to grazing, and much less liable to droutb 
"than the flat country, underlayed by limestone, nearer the lake 
aand north of Black River. The surface is undulating, and less 
"broken by gulphs than Lorraine. The rock is Lorraine shale, 
in some places covered by drift; and several sulphur springs 
C3ccur in town. 

< ^♦^ »■ 



It is instructive to trace the rise and progress of those improve* 
^nents and means of communication, by the aid of which, a 
country has arisen in the brief space of half a century, from a 
fowling wilderness to a fertile and highly cultivated district, 
])roducing from its soil all the necessaries of life, and affording 
lyy the exchange of its surplus products every means of enjoy- 
^nent which civilization has invented, or the most refined con- 
dition of social life required. The following petition from 
Arthur Noble and Baron Steuben to the legislature in 1791, is 
]>robably the first that was ever offered for the benefit of this 
section of the state. 

"To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York. 
nrhe petition of the subscribers humbly sheweth: That a line of 

308 French Road. 

road from the Little Falls, on the Mohawk River, to the 
lalls on the Black River, which runs into Lake Ontario, 
would be attended with infinite advantages to this state, not 
only by opening a trade with the flourishing settlement of Ca- 
daroque, and tliat part of Canada, by which all goods and nier« 
chandize could be tran.sported from New York for half the ex- 
pense that tliey are by the present route by the river St 
Lawrence, but that it would, likewise, very much enhance the 
value of a large tract of land that this state has to dispose of, 
on and near the said river, and very much facilitate the settle- 
ment of that country. That it is humbly submitted to the legia- 
liture to appoint commissioners to explore, layout and have 
said road made, and to appropriate a sum of money or lands for 
that purpose, the distance being between fifty and sixty miles; 
and your petitioners, as in duty bound, will pray. 

Arthur Noble. 


The committee to whom was referred the petition of Arthur 
Noble and William Baron de Steuben, report: that the prayer 
of their petition ought to be granted, and that a bill be prepared 
and brought in, authorizing the commissioners of the land oiBce 
to set apart a tract of land for the purpose of defraying the 
expense in exploring, laying out, and opening a road from the 
Little Fulls, on the Mohawk River, to the falls on the Black 
River, or in such direction as to the said commissioners shall 
seem most conducive to the interests of the state. We have not 
been able to ascertain that this was done. 

Jacob Brown, at a very early day, had taken active measures 
for continuing the road w*hich the French settlers had opened 
to the High Falls, while forming their settlement at the latter 
place, down the west side of the Black River valley to the St. 
Lawrence. The first settlers had found their way into thecoun* 
try by using the navigable channel of the Black River, from the 
High Falls to the present village of Carthage, or by the tedious 
and perilous navigation of the lake, by way of Oswego. 

In anticipation of settlement, Rodolph Tillier had caused to 
be opened, at the expense of the French Company, a route from 
the High Falls, east of Black River, to near the Great Bend, from 
which it continued in a line nearly direct to the present village 
of Clayton. A branch from this diverged to the head of naviga- 
tion on Black River Bay, but these roads, although cleared and 
the stumps removed, had no bridges, and, consequently, were of no 
use to the early settlers. It is said, as an evidence of the incom- 
petence of this agent for effecting these improvements, that upon 
its being represented to him that bridges were indispensable to 

The Oswegatchie Road. 309 

e road, he replied; — thai he had reserved Ji/Iy dollars /or 

very purpose. This road fell entirely into disuse, and it 

idoubtl'ul whether a rod of it is now traveled. The first tra- 

elled road in the county north of Black River, owes its origin 

o Judge Kathan Ford, of Ogdensburgh, whose indomitable 

ergy enabled him to encounter the difticulties of a new settle- 

ent, with a success seldom equaled. He was a man eminently 

istinguished for his zeal and enterprise in whatever related to 

i nternal improvements, and the public welfare in general. In his 

:=orrespondence with the landholders of Macomb's Purchase, he 

^equently urged the matter in the most forcible language, and as 

hese letters will serve not only to convey an idea of the times, 

also of the characteristics of the man, we will make from 

-iiem a few extracts. 

To Stephen Van Rensselaer he wrote, December 30, 1799: 
^ You will allow me the liberty of stating my ideas upon the 
tility of a road being cut through from some part of their town- 
^^ips upon the St. Lawrence to the Mohawk River. If this could 
^De made a state object, it would be productive of two good ef- 
^"ects to the proprietors: — first, it would save them a considerable 
^Kumof money; and, second, it would hold out an idea to those 
"X#ho intend to emigrate, of the real value of this country, a strong 
^^vidence of which would be the legislature's interesting itself. 

If Mr. Brown has succeeded in getting the road to old John- 
^^town, I take it that half of the expense is over, for I do not be- 
1 ieve it is above fifty or fifty*five miles from here to get to where 
'^Jiat begins. 

It is, in my opinion, unreasonable to expect any very heavy 
important settlements to be made, unless there is a road 
hich will shorten the distance to Albany. I have taken much 
ins to ascertain the probable distance to Albany, and I dare 
'"feature it as an opinion that it will not overrun 150 miles from 
'^Jiis very spot. I am confident it will fall rather short than otherr 
^"^ise. This road, once cut out, will immediately be settled upon, 
%Dd if it should be nothing more than a winter road at first, the 
advantage would be immense. 

The difficulty of getting to this country with families is be- 
yond what is generally supposed. The present road through the 
^hateaugay country accommodates the few who emigrate from 
^^he upper part of Vermont, but the immense flood of people who 
^migrate to the westward, go there because they have no choice. 
"This road once opened as contemplated, the emigration would 
soon turn this way, not only because the distance would be less 
"^W to the Genesee, but also because the lands are better and more 
^Tantageously situated. If the legislature will not take up the 
^Httiness, I am fully of opinion the proprietors will find their ac* 

310 The Omegatchie Road. 

count in cutting out the road at their own expense. I shoul 
suppose those who own in the Big Purchase would unite partiaU 
in the thing, for that land can never settle until a road is ca 
The traveling and commerce which go to Albany from Uppt 
Canada, will far surpass the most sanguine idea. 1 am confide 
the farmer from this country will take his produce as easily t 
Albany as he can to Montreal, and he is sure of going to a bel 
ter market. Over and above this (which Is a sufficient reaao 
for inducing them this way), is, that generally speaking, tlioa 
who have settled on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence, v 
from the North and Mohawk rivers, and their connections ai 
there. So they have a double advantage of seeing their frienc 
and doing their business upon more advantageous principle 
Vast numbers of the most leading farmers in that country, ba? 
assured me they would go to Albany in preference to Montrea 
if it took them three days longer. I am confident the commerc 
that would flow into Albany through the medium of this roai 
would very soon reimburse the state for the expense. Those wfa 
live on our own side of the river, are compelled from necessit 
to trade at Montreal. This is the case with myself. My incl 
nation is to trade to Albany, but it is impossible. It is biffU 
politic to prevent if possible, the commerce of this country fra 
falling into a regular system through Montreal; for when peopl 
once form mercantile connections, it is vastly difficult to divei 
and turn the current into a new channel. 1 see no rational mod 
but having the road cut, to secure to Albany so desirable an ol 
ject. I have taken the liberty of stating my ideas upon th: 
subject, which, if they should meet yours, I trust and hope yo 
will take such steps as will secure a benefit to the state, as wt 
as promote the interest of the proprietors and settlers. 

Concerning this survey, Ford wrote, Sept. 27, 1801, to Tbomi 
L. Ogden, as follows: 

'^ Dear Sir. — I have most impatiently waited until the preset 
time, to give you that information upon the subject of the roai 
which I know you are anxious to receive. It is but a few da] 
since Edsal finished the survey; and Capt. Tibbet's setting oi 
for Schenectady to-morrow, affords me the earliest opportunity 
have had. From the .east branch of Oswegatchie Lake, to tt 
Ox Bow, and from there on to the High Falls, Edsal runs a lir 
agreeable to the plan proposed by Mr. Morris, and I am sorry 1 
add, soon after leaving the Ox Bow, he came to a most intolerab 
swampy and ridgy ground, growing worse and worse as I: 
progressed, and, before he reached the High Falls, became i 
perfectly confident of the impracticability of a road, as well i 
the impossibility of settlement, that he abandoned the idea, we) 
to Castorville, and from thence to the head of the Long Fall 

The Omegatchie Road. 311 

Trom the inrormation I had been able to collect from various 
<]uarters, I was apprehensive it would be impossible to obtain 
oar object by that route, in consequence of which, I directed 
Edsal, in case he should find it as he really has, to go to the head 
o£ the Long Falls, and run a line from there to the Ox Bow, and 
I am happy to tell you, that an excellent road may be had that 
way, and without adding to the distance. And a further advan- 
tage arises, by crossing the Black River, at the Long Falls, is, 
we fall into the Black River road, which saves us the expense of 
cutting 30 miles. This I view as a great object, particularly so, 
as our distance is not increased thereby. How far Mr. Morris 
will feel disposed to go on in the subscription he has made, I do 
not know, but 1 do not doubt he will still do what is generous, 
for the French lands will be as well, nay, better accommodated 
by the road, running as it does, than it would by going to the 
High Falls. I shall write him fully upon the subject, and when 
you see him, I wish you to converse with him about it. 

I have contracted with Edsal for making the road from Louis- 
ville to thp east branch of Black Lake, at 16 dollars per mile; 
the foad to be cut and cleared one rod, cradle-knolls and sides 
of ridges to be leveled; small crossways and bridges over small 
streams to be made. I have also contracted for 8 miles of the 
road beyond east branch, west, at the same terms, and expect to 
contract for the whole soon. Where it falls into the road already 
cut in Madrid and Louisville, deduction is to be made, as much 
as the cutting those roads cost. 

In running through Lisbon, and going to the north of the Big 
Swamp, the introduction into, and through Madrid, will be along 
the road already cut, and I think it no more than proper, to allow 

{ou upon your subscription, the price that road has cost you. If 
am not very much mistaken, you told me it was not of much 
consequence to you, if it should happen to be the case. I am of 
opinion, it will be more advantageous to you, to have the road 
'bere, than where you first talked of. I wish I could have the 
'Oad come as nigh to me, as it does to you. 

From the west line of Madrid, to the East Branch 

(Oswegatchie River), is -* 13mile8. 

From East Branch to Ox Bow, 26 " 

From Ox Bow to West Branch of Oswegatchie Lake 

Clndian River), 13 " 

From West Branch to head of Long Falls (Carthage^ 13 " 
From Long Falls to Shaler's (Turin), (is good road) 30 " 
From Shaler's to Albany, through tbe Royal Grant 
^udOld Johnstown, ^. 90 " 

Carried forward, 186 " 

312 The Oiwegatchie Road. 

Brought forward, 185 mile^ 1[ &i7a 

Allow, that I may not be correct in the last state- 
ment (though I am pretty sure), 5 ** ^' 


There will be the crosswaying and the bridging to be don^» .Mie; 
these two things will cost considerable, but running the road 8^& a^ 
I have laid it out, will cost us certainly not more than half ^^ ^ 
much as it would to go by the High Falls. £dsal says, he . ^ 

confident, that the road from Ox Bow to High Falls, would nc^ ^^^ 
be made for a much larger sum than 2,000 dollars, and then - ^^ 

would be through a country which would not settle; now, w""«^^^ 
have a fine country all the way. Tuttle has paid the money, an.^^^^ ^ 
Edsal thinks he will be able to furnish part of the draft you gav^^^-*^® 
me. I shall not want it all this fall, unless the fall should be s '^^ 
very fine one, in which case I hope to see the greater part of th ^^ ^. 
business of cutting done. I have put the petition upon the sub^i ^^ 
ject of the county, into the hands of Turner and Tibbet, fo ^J^^^^ 
signatures, who say they will do all in their power to promot^^^^ 
the thing. I shall bring it to Albany with me. 

I hope I shall have the pleasure of meeting you this winter ar.^ ' * 
Albany, and I hope you will in the mean time do all in youi-»-^^^^^ 
power to help the thing forward. I expected to have heard frooca:' ^^"^i! 
you, upon the subject of the road from Salmon River to th»-^i^^ 

Pray, has the Patroon consented to our road, and subscribed fa'^^^ 
or does he still cast a languishing eye to Schroon Lake? ^ 

Be pleased to make my respects to Mrs. Ogden and your family"^ -I ' **^ 

Believe me to be with every wish for your health and happiness^si^s^^^ 

Your humble servant, 
Thomas L. Ogden^ Esq,y New York." N. Ford. ^^^' 

This road from Salmon River, referred to, was a part of m "^i 
system of roads that originated with George Scriba, Nathans 
Sage, and others, of Oswego County, that was designed to ex-* 
tend from the Salt Works to I^edfield, and thence through 
directly as possible to Champion and St. Lawrence County. 

letter by Nathan Sage, before us, on this subject, to Judges^^^ 
Hubbard, of Champion, at a later period (October 24, ISiOj^C^ 

'*The first object is, to open the shortest route to the Salt Springs^ 
and a communication to the Genesee country, and those 

* These distances are found to be, as follows : Oswegatchie River at He«— - 
▼elton, to Ox Bow, nearly as above stated. From Ox Bow to Indian Ri^r,^^ 
7 miles; from thence to Carthage, 16i miles j from thence to Shaler'e ol<k>X 
Mttlement, (now Constableville), 3? miles. 



The Onpegatchie Road. 313 

jacent to them. The people south and >vest are very anxious 
r this road, and \rill u:»e all their influence. Mr. Scriba has 
titioas in circulation in those sections. 1 shall put some in 
'culation here, and hope you \vill endeavor to do all you can 
your section. I look on this road as of the greatest importance 
this part of the state, and make no doubt that if subscribers 
e obtained, and some careful influential man be employed to 
tend, and your members influence themselves, aid can be got 
• a lottery lor this purpose." 

In a letter to Gouverneur Morris, dated September 27, 1801, 
r. Ford recapitulates the substance of the previous one to Og- 
n, apologizes for the necessity of going to the Long Falls, 
stead of through the French lands, and adds: 
" You will be pleased to say how, and in what proportion, 
e liberal subscription you have made shall be applied. I 
raent that the country through to the High Falls is so bad. 
lould the road be cut through, the country will not admit of 
ttlement; consequently, the object that way must be abandoned. 
Iiave presumed you would not wholly withdraw your patronage, 
cause there are your own lands, as well as part of the French 
ndSf which will be materially benefited. I have contracted for 
KHit one-half the road from Louisville to the Long Falls, and 
expect to close a contract for the remainder very shortly. The 
'eai object of a road to this country to us all, and that route 
iing the most practicable one, has induced me to hazard the 
impletion of it upon the subscriptions we have obtained. I 
ish there had been a sum subscribed that would have justified a 
ider and better road; but so it is, and we must make the best 

it. My contract is to cut out trees eighteen inches and 
ider, — sixteen and a half feet wide, cradle knolls, and side hills 

be dug down, small crossways and small bridges over small 
ns to be made, and stumps to be cut so low as not to obstruct 
wheel, and large trees to be girdled. For doing this, 1 give 
cteen dollars per mile. Bridges and crossways are a separate 
ing, and must be the subject of future contracts. I hope to 
ive much of the road finished this fall. 

*' From the lower line of Louisville to the East Branch, which 
e road crosses about 3} miles from the Forks (site of the vil- 
ge of Heuvelton), 33 miles; from East Branch to Ox Bow, 26; 
>in Ox Bow to head of Long Falls, 26; from Long Falls to 
laler's, 30; from Shaler's to Albany, by the way of the Royal 
rant and Johnstown, 90. I possibly may not be correct in the 
St distance, but I am pretty confident I am; but allow 5 miles, 
ives 210 miles. This is the distance upon this route to Alba- 
y, by which your land is brought within 170 miles of Albany; 

314 The Omegaichie Road. 

wbichy I Tiirill venture to say, is the most practicable route that 
vrill be had to that city, from the St. Lawrence. 

I am, sir, as ever, your humble servant, 

N. ToBD. 

The Hon. G. Morris^ Esq.'' 

To Samuel Ogden, Mr. Ford wrote, October 29, 1801: 
" Dear Sir. — I wrote you the 27th of last month, which H -a I 
hope you have received. In that I told you I was pushing atS^-^s at 
the road, and it gives me much pleasure, that, by a little extra— .flsa- 
ordinary exertion, I shall get the whole of it so far completed^ K^' <d» 
that I intend finding my way through with a sleigh this winter.^'HB ^r. 
If I could have but one moath longer I would have it all bridged;^ ^^' 
but the season is too far advanced and forbids my attempting it-.^ ^i^* 
I have spared no pains to get the road on the best grouna. I wi 
not satisfied with Edsal's first return of the road, and sent him. 
back to explore the ground again, between the Ox Bow and tin 
head of the Long Falls; the result of which was better- ground, 
and four miles saved in distance. My intention is to set out ii 
January, with as many sleighs as I can muster, ahd break tin 
road through, and advertise the thing in all the northern papers, 
so as to get people traveling through this winter. The presents 
opportunity only gives me time to tell you how much I am, 

Yours, N. FoED." 

To T. L. Ogden, on the same date, he wrote: 

" I wrote you the 27th of last month, which I hope you have^"^-^^ 
received. In that I told you what were my prospects about the^^^-^" 
Toad, &c. The present opportunity affords me only time to tell I 

Jou, I shall have the whole so far completed, that I expect to 
lunder through it this winter, with a sleigh, and I hope to indue 
many to follow the example. In order to get the road in as machc:C 
forwardness as I have, has required much exertion; but the at^-d 
taining of the desired object is a gratification, which will aton 
for a little slavery." 

To Samuel Ogden, Mr. Ford wrote, November 29, 1801. ^- 

" It is with pleasure I announce to you my having finishedt>^_^^ 
cutting the road, and all the logs are turned, excepting about eigl 
miles, and the party goes out to-morrow morning to finish that;s 
after which I think the road may be said to be passable for sleighs^ 
although there is considerable digging yet to be done, as well asi 
crossways. If I could have had three weeks longer, I could now 
have pronounced it one of the best roads in any new country. I. ^^ . 
have nad crossways made over the worst places, and a bridge ^"^^^ 
over the we;st branch of Black Lake (Indian River), eighty {eet^< ~ 

Th0 Oswegatchie Road. 315 

, and I should have had the bridge over the east branch 
vegatchie River), but 1 was fearful of being cafight by the 
raius. That is a bridge which must be twelve rods long. 
I live and have my health next summer, I will have that a road, 
:h shall be drove with loaded wagons, for I have no idea of 
ng with such a thing as they have made through Chatauguay, 
:h scarcely deserves the name of an apology for a road. 
'ever, I do not know, but it will be good enough for the use 
will be made of it, after ours becomes finished. I expect the 
vill serve as a bridge over the East Branch, this winter. 
a the East Branch, where the road crosses, I have cut a road 
lis place, and about the 1st of January I intend to break the 
through to the Long Falls (Carthage), and find my way to 
tny, by this new route. 

little extraordinary exertion has made the road, and a little 
tion will break it, for I am determined to have it traveled 
winter, by which wc shall gain one year." 
lie road was at first opened by a subscription among the land 
ers, and its continuation through Lewis County was long 
vn as the Oswegatchie road. The sums raised by these means 
ed inadequate to build the road of the character which the 
itiT demanded; and narrow, sectional, and local jealousies 
t found to embarrass the enterprise. Of these, Mr. Ford, in 
bsequent letter, says: " If I could have effected any thing 
L the proprietors, as to the road, it would have given a great 
ig to emigration; but they conducted themselves with such 
imony, that I abandoned the thing to its fate, after leaving 
) my proposition." 

was next attempted, with success, to obtain state patronage 
his work; and on the 9th of April, 1804, a lottery was cre- 
for the purpose of raising the sum of $22,000, with ten per 
pdded, for expenses to construct a road from Troy to Green- 
a, and " from, or near the head of the Long Falls, in the 
nty of Oneida, to the mills of Nathan Ford, at Oswegatchie, 
It. Lawrence County." The latter wsis to be six rods wide, 
Nathan Ford, Alexander J. Turner, and Joseph Edsell, 
e appointed commissioners for making it. Owners of im- 
red lands might require payment for damages. $12,000 of 
above sum was appropriated for this road. If any person 
ight proper to advance money for either road, he might pay 
tto the treasury, to be repaid with interest out of the avails 
he lottery. Vacancies in the office of commissioners were to 
illed by the governor. They were to be paid $1*50 per day. 
! summer of 1805 was devoted to the location and opening 
he road, and on the 26th of October, 1805, Judge Ford 



316 The Oswesatchie Road. 


" I have just returned from laying out the State Road betwee^^ '^^ 
Ogdensburgli and the Long Falls upon Blaek River, and I av ^^ni 
happy to tell you we have made great alterations (from the oH <:i3W 
road), for the hctter, also as well as shortening the distance. ThS m:Ais 
business took me nme dj»ys, and most of the time it was slormy^-*^)' 
<lisagreeable weather. The difliculty 1 find in forming a plai ^^ -^^ 
how our lottery money can he laid out to the best advantages^ "^S* 
makes me wish for some abler head than mine, to consult, o -^:^ ^ 



those with whom 1 am associated in the commission. To contrac 
by the mile is very diflicult, and to contract by the job, compre 
bending the whole distance, is still worse. After consulting ano •'^ *' 
turning the business in all the ways and shapes it is capable oFft. 
I proposed to my colleague the propriety of employing a man o 
reputation, who had wei(j;lit of character equal to the procurin^^ 
of thirty good hands to be paid by the month, and he to super- ^ 
intend the business; the superintendent to be handsomely paid, 
and he to carry on and conduct the business under the directioiri. 
of the commissioners. This plan we have adopted, and I trust E ^-'i 
have found a man who is iully competent to the task,* and \v^"^-^^^ 
shall make our engagements to begin on the 25th of May. K 
hope nothing will interfere, which will obstruct our progressing-*^^ S 
I am sorry to say I am not wholly without my fears, although B- '' 
durst not whisper such an idea. You would be astonished tose 
how much pains are taken to counteract this object, by thos*?^:^ 
who are settling lands to the east of us: and you would be equal! 
astonished to see the exertion there is now making to get load 
in every direction to Lake Champlain. Their exertion is by no 
means fruitless, for they have worked through with several. This 
I, however, am happy to see; notwithstanding it produces to us 
a temporary evil, it will eventually be a thing which can not fail 
to produce to us solid advantages; because, through these avenues, 
we shall ultimately reap as great advantages as they will. All 
that can be said of the thing is, they are now enjoying the first 

An act was passed March 26, 1S03, for opening and improving 
certain great roads of the state, with the proceeds of a lottery, 
to be drawn under the supervision of Philip Ten Eyck, Thomas 
Storm, William Henderson, Mathias B. Tallmadge, and Jacobus 
Van Schoonhoven. The fund, so raised, was intended to be chiefly 
applied to the openinc: of roads in the Black River country, and 
was limited to $41,500. The following sections will give more 
fully the intentions of the act. 

" Jlnd be it further enacted; That it shall be lawful for the 
person administering the government of this state, by and with 

* David Seymour, of Springfield, Vt., the father of George N. Seymour, Esq., 
of Ogdenshiirgh. 

The Oswegatchie Road. 317 

e advice ami consent of the council of appointment, to appoint 
ree or more commissioners, to open and improve the road as 
id out by Pettjr Colt and Nathan Sage, from Rome to Brown- 
lie, on the Black River; and that (he said commissioners so 
ipointed, shall extend the said road, from Brownville to the 
. Lawrence River, so as to have the best ground for a road, and 
e most convenient terry across the said water to Kingstown, in 
e province of Upper Canada. 

•Aid be it further aiactcd: That it shall be lawful for the per- 
il administering the government of this state, by and wilh the 
nsent of the council of appointment, to appoint three or more 
inmissioners, to lay out and improve a road from within two 
iles from Preston's tavern, in the town of Steuben; thence 
ivithin three miles of the High Falls of Black River; thence 
rough the towns of Turin, Lowville, Champion, Rutland, Wa- 
rtowD, and Brownville, so as to intersect the aforesaid road, 
itween the Black River and the south bounds of great No. IV, 
■ Macomb's Purchase. 

^nd be it further enacted: That it shall be lawful for the per- 
il administering the government of this state, by and with the 
Ivice and consent of the council of appointment, to appoint 
le or more, not exceeding three commissioners, to lay out a 
ad from within two miles of Preston's Tavern, in the town of 
;euben, as aforesaid, to Johnstown, or as near Johnstown as the 
iture of the ground and the general interests of the Black River 
mntry require; and, that when this part of the road shall have 
fen so laid out, the commissioners, for laying out, opening, and 
iproving the road through the Black River country, generally, 
all open and improve it." 

Of the avails of this lottery, $10,000 were applied for opening 
road through Washington, Essex, and Clinton counties to the 
ovince line, and $1,500 for a bridge over the west branch of 
e Hudson. 

Nathan Sage, Henry Huntington, and Jacob Brown, were ap- 
»inted commissioners for opening the road above mentioned, 
issing through Redfield, and these were, by an act passed April 
1804, authorized and empowered to make such deviations on 
id route as they deemed proper, notwitlistanding the provision 
the original act. 

On the 25th of February, 1805, Henry McNeil, George Doo- 
lie, and Bill Smith, were appointed to lay out a road in as 
rect a route as practicable, from Whitesboro through Deerfield 
id Floyd, to Turin to intersect the state road that runs along 
le Black River. 

Jacob Brown, Walter Martin, and Peter Schuyler, were appoin- 
sd under the act of March 26th 1803, to locate the road 

318 State Roads. 

through the Black River valJey, which has since, until recently. ^^^> 
been known as the State Roady and $30,000 were ex|ibnde(l un— ^:~a- 
d^r that act. Silas Stow acted a short time as one of the com-^ 
inissioners, both on the Black River and the Johnstown section- 
with Brown, Martin, and Schuyler. 

An act of April 8, 1808, Augustus Sacket, David I. AndruSp 
and John Meacham were empowered to lay out a public rcfacft 
four rods wide, commencing at such place in Brownville oa 
Hpundsfield as shall, in the opinion of the commissioners, best^ .^st 
unite with the great road leading from Rome to the river St— J^*^ 
Lawrence at Putman's Firry, and pursuing such route as in theirs m ir 
opinion shall best accommodate the public in general, to the vil-^ -K- 1' 
lage of Salina. 

By an act of April 2, 1813, the surveyor-general was «au— ^-*'" 
thorized an.l required to sell and dispose of so much of the una|>— ^^P 
propriated lands of this state, on a credit of twelve months, lying^^ 'E 
in the county of Oneida, called the Fish Creek Land, as shall raisi ^^' 
the sum of $4,000, and the same is hereby appropriated for im 
proving the road from Sackets Harbor, on Lake Ontario, to th 
village of Rome, in the county of Oneida, being the road hereto- 
fore laid out by commissioners appointed by the state, and pay""*"C._^.3 
the same over to Henry Huntington, Clark Allen and Dan Tafl "* ^^ 


who are hereby appointed superintendents to take charge of lb 
expenditures of the said sum, for the objects aforesaid." 
men were required to give security to double the amount of the^^ ^* 
trust, and were to be paid two dollars per day. 

The road thus opened, subsequently became a stage route, and 
one of the principal avenues into the county, and it repeatedly 
became an object of state legislation and patronage. In 1807, 
active cfTorts were made in Oneida and Lewis counties, to obtai 
a lottery for improving the road from Whitesboro to Utica, but 
failed in consequence of the number of similar applications from 
other localities. 

An act was passed April 1, 1814, appointing William Smith, 
George Brayton and Benjamin Wright to lay out a road from 
Salina to Smith's Mills (Adams), to intersect at that place, the 
State Road from Rome, through Redfield and Lorraine, to Brown- 
ville. The sum of $5,000, derived from duties on salt and a tax 
on the adjacent lands that were to receive direct and immediate 
benefit from the road, were applied for its construction. The 
road was completed to Adams, and was long known as the Salt 
Point Road, or State Road. 

On the 17th of April, 1816, a State Road was directed to be 
laid out by Robert Mc Dowell,Eben Lucas, and Abel Cole, from 
Lowville to Henderson Harbor, which was surveyed, but the 
whole of it was not opened. " It was principally designed to be* 

State Roads. 319 

xxefit lands in Pinckney and the other thinly settled townships, 
l>ut never Jbecame of public importance. It was to be opened 
"^vith moneys derives from taxes on adjacent lands. 

A road from French Creek to Watertown was, by an act of 
.AprW 1, 1824, directed to be made under the direction of Amos 
Stebbins, Azariah Doane and Henry H. Cotfeen. It was to be 
opened and worked as a public road in tlie towns through which 
it passed, it being expected that the commissioners would secure 
its location in such a manner as to secure the public interests 

An act of April IS, 1828, provided for improving the public 
road between Canton and Antwerp by a tax on lands to be bene- 

By an act of April 19, 1834, Loren Bailey, Azariah Walton, 
and ICldridge G. Merrick were appointed to lay out a road along 
the St. Lawrence, from near the line of Lyme and Clayton to 
Chippewa Bay, in Hammond. The cost, not exceeding $100 
per roiie, was to be taxed to adjacent lands; and in 1836, 1838, 
and 1839 the act was amended and extended. 

A State Road from Carthage to Lake Champlain was, by an 
act of April 4, 1841, authorized to be laid out by Nelson J. 
Beach of Lewis County, David Judd of Essex, and Nathan In- 
g'erson of Jefferson Counties. The act was amended April 18, 
1843, April 30, 1844, and April 15, 1847, and the road has been 
surveyed and opened the whole distance. Much of it lays 
Ibrough an uninhabited forest. 

The enterprise of individual proprietors led, at an early day, 
to the opening of extended lines of roads, among which was the 
Alorris and Hammond Road, the Alexandria Koad, &c. The 
€our of President Monroe in 1817 probably led to the project of 
smiting the two prominent military stations of Plattsburgh and 
S^tckets Harbor by a military road, which was soon after be- 
S^^ui« A report of John C. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, 
^^ted January 7, 1819, mentions this among other national 
^^"orks then in progress. The labor was done by relief parties of 
^dildiers from these garrisons, who received an extra allowance of 
teen cents, and a gill of whiskey daily. The western extremity 
^ from Sackets Harbor, through Brownville, Pamelia Four 
orners, and Redwood to Hammond, and from Plattsburgh to 
le east line of Franklin County, only were completed. The 
of the general government ended with the opening of these 
^oads, and the portion in this county has been maintained as a 
"^Own road* 

TuBNPiKEd. — ^The Oneida and Jefferson Turnpike Company 
^^v^as incorporated April 8, 1808, for the purpose of making a 
^oad, by the most eligible route, from the house of James Tryon, in 

320 Turnpikes. 

Rome, byway of David Butler's, in Redfield, and the south branch 
of Sandy Creek, inMalta (Lorraine) and thence to Putnam's Ferry, 
(two miles below Cape Vincent), on the St Lawrence. The 
persons named in the act were Nathan Sage, Peter Colt, Augus- 
tus Sacket, Jacob Brown, David Smith, and Eliphalet Edmonds. 
Capital, 4700 shares of $25 each. A company with the same 
name, and a capital of $20,000, was chartered May 3, 1834, and 
amended April 13, 1835, but never got into efficient operation. 
The commissioners named were Elisha Camp, Thomas C. Chitten- 
den, Clark Allen, Ira Seymour, Nelson Darley, and Alanson 

The St, Lawrence Turnpike Company, formed April 6, 18 10, of 
twenty-nine leading land holders ot northern New York, headed 
by J. Le Ray, built, in 1812-13, a turnpike from a point 5i^ miles 
north of Carlhage to Bangor, Franklin County. They were in 
1813 released from completing the termination which had origi- 
nally been intended to be the Long Fails and Malone. The road 
was opened under the supervision of Russell Attwater, and built 
from the proceeds of lands subscribed for its construction along 
the route. During the war it was a source of great profit, but 
afterwards fell into disuse, and the company were, by an act of 
April 17, 1827, allowed to abandon it to the public. 

The Ogdensburgh Turnpike Company, formed June 8, 1812, 
capital, $50,000, and mainly sustained by David Parish, soon after 
built a turnpike from Carthage to Ogdensburgh by way of An- 
twerp, Rossie and Morristown. This was also, by an act of April 
1826, surrendered to the public. Few persons better deserve 
honorable mention for their liberality in contributing to public 
improvement, than David Parish, whose share of expense in 
opening the Ogdensburgh turnpike w^as $40,000, and in the St. 
Lawrence, upwards of $10,000. Mr. Le Ray is also equally de- 
serving of remembrance as the early and constant benefactor of 
these improvements, and his expenditures on these were doubt- 
less greater than those of any other person. 

By an act passed March 30, 1811, the governor was to ap- 
point commissioziers to lay out two turnpikes. One of these was 
to pass from Lwville, by way of Munger's Mills (Copenha- 
gen), and Watertown, to Brownville; the other from Munger's 
Mills to Sacketts Harbor. The former of these was to be called 
the Black River and Sackets Harbor Turnpike^ with a capital 
of $37,500, in shares of twenty-live dollars each. Daniel Kelley, 
John Paddock, and John Brown, with their associates, were to 
constitute the company. £1 isha Camp, Corlis Hinds, and Thomas 
M. Converse, were to constitute a company under the name of 
the Sacketts Harbor Turnpike Company ^ for building the latter, 
with a capital of $20,000, in shares of twenty dollars each. 
Neither of these roads were built. 


Turnpikes. 321 

On the 13th of February, 1812, Mr. Le Ray addressed the 
following memorial to the Legislature: 

" To the Honorable, the Legislature of the State of New York: 

The petition of James Le Ray, de Chaumont, respectfully 
sheweth: That the St Lawrence Turnpike Road, leading from 
the Black River to the town of Malone, in Franklin County, is 
now opened the whole of the distance, and it is expected will be 
completed in the course of this year. That a direct road, lead- 
ing from the Black River, opposite the village of Watertown, 
and intersecting the river Si. Lawrence, in the town of Le Ray, 
would, in the opinion of your petitioners, greatly promote the 
public convenience; that the country through which such road 
would have to pass, is in a great measure unsettled, and the set- 
tlement and improvement of which would be much promoted by 
a gooil road. Your peiitioners would also beg leave further to 
represent, that the road leading from the village of Chaumont 
to the village of Cape Vincent, on the river St. Lawrence, oppo- 
site Kingston, in Upper Canada,* a distance of about eleven 
miles, passes through a very level and an unsettled tract of coun- 
try, and is at present much out of repair, and during the greater 
part of the year so miry as to be almost impassable; that by 
reason of this road being in such situation, persons traveling 
through the Black River country, to Upper Canada, are obliged, 
during the summer season, to submit to the inconvenience and 
risk of crossing Lake Ontario — a navigation by no means safe, 
especially in open boats; that in case the said road was so im- 
proved that it could be safely and conveniently passed by horses 
and carriages at all seasons of the year, the public convenience, 
as well as the settlement and cultivation of that part of the 
country, would, in the opinion of your petitioner, be greatly 

Your petitioner therefore humbly requests your honorable body 
to authorize him, by law, to make a turnpike road, from the 
village of Chaumont, in the town of Brownville, to the village 
of Cape Vincent, on the river St. Lawrence, and from the Black 
River, opposite the village of Watertown, to intersect the St. 
Lawrence Turnpike Road, at or near where the same crosses the 
Indian River, in the town of Le Ray; upon such conditions, and 
under such limitations and restrictions, as you, in your wisdom, 
shall think fit to impose. And he, as in duty bound, will ever 
pray, &c James Le Ray de Chamount, 

By his Attorney, V. Le Ray de Chamount.*^ 

The war which soon ensued diverted attention for a time from 
this improvement; but, on the 31st of March, 1815, an act was 

322 Plank Roads. 

passed, empowering Le Ray to build the Cape Vincent Turnpike 
from that place to Perch River. Elisha Camp, Musgrove Evans, 
and Robert Mc Dowel were named commissioners lor locating it 
in such a manner as to best promote the public interests; the 
usual provisions were made, as with companies, to obtain the 
right oi'way, and Mr. LeRay was not compelled to build a bridge 
over Chaumont River. On the 12th of April, 1816, he was allow- 
ed to extend the road to Brownviile village. By an act of April 
21, 1831, this road was surrendered to the public, and with it 
ended the era of turnpikes in JelTerson County. 

Plank Roads. — Measures were taken for building plank roads 
soon after the passage of the general law. The first one builf 
was from Watertoum to Sackets Harbor^ ten miles of which (the 
half toward Watertown) was inspected June 13, 1848, and the 
remainder 10th of August. The company had been formed Au- 
gust 7, 1847. The first plank road inspectors were appointed 
November 17, 1847, and were William Wood, Samuel Boyden 
and W^alter Collins. 

During 1849-50-1, numerous roads were constructed, which 
will be named in the order of their connection and locality. 
The Lowville and Carthage Plank Road, one mile ten rods, in 
this county, inspected August 4, 1849; the Carthage and ^n-* 
twerp Plank Roady first four miles finished September 21, 1849; 
the whole, sixteen and one-fourth miles, inspected November 13, 
1849: survey recorded May 11, 1849. The Sterlingbush and 
JVorth Wiina Plank Roadj just built, and connecting the last 
road with the village of Louisburgh, or Sterlingbush, in Lewis 
County; the articles of association dated May 10th 1853. The 
Gouvemeury Somerville and jintweip Plank Roady survey re« 
corded August 27, 1849; five miles, seventy-two chains and sev- 
enty links of this road in this county inspected November 14, 
1849. A continuous line of plank roads connect this with Og- 
densburgh, Canton, and the depot of Canton and Madrid, on the 
Northern Rail Road. One mile from Antwerp Village, this road 
connects with the Hammondy Rossie and Antwerp Plank Road^ 
which was formed January 23, 1850; seven miles in this 
county inspected October 24, 1850; length twenty miles, pass- 
ing through Rossie Village, mostly on the line of the Ogdensburgh 
Turnpike, and connecting by plank road with the village and port 
of Morristown. Several very expensive grading and rock cut- 
ting occurs on this road. At the Vills^ge of Ox Bow, in An- 
twerp, it connects with the Evans^ Mills and Ox Bow Plank 
Roady 17 miles long; recorded February 27, 1852; completed in 
June, 1852. The Pamelia and Evan^s Mills Plank Road con- 
tinues this route to Watertown, nine and three-fourths miles long; 
completed June 15, 1850. Antwerp is connected with Water- 

Plank Roads. 323 

town by the following roads: The Antwerp^ Sterlingville and 
Great Bend Plank Roady formed December 5, 1848|twelve and 
three-eighths miJes long, completed August 27, 1849; the Wa- 
tertown and Great Bend Plank Roady ten miles completed late 
in 1849. 

This passes through the villages of Black River and Felts' Mills. 
At the village of Great Bend, this and the former road connect with 
the Great Bend and Copenhagen Plank Roady of which nine miles 
are in the county; completed November 31, 1849. This road passes 
through Champion Village, and has an expensive grade near 
Pleasant Lake, in that town. It connects with the Rutland and 
ChampionPlank Roady Tmiles 7 1 chains long which is laid on the 
former main road between Copenhagen to Watertown, to the line 
of the latter near the ^^ Big Hill," three and one-half miles from 
Watertown Village, completed August 30, 1849. By the Water" 
toim Plank and Turnpike Roady this line is continued to Water- 
town Village. This road, three and one-half miles long, was 
completed September 11, 1849. The Watertown Central Rail 
Roady two miles long, completed August 11, 1849, was at first 
designed to connect with other roads, forming a line of plank 
roads to Syracuse, but the completion of the railroad has inde- 
finitely postponed this plan. The Mams and Ellisburgh Plank 
Roady through these towns, was recorded February 14, 1849, 
and 10 miles 239 rods, inspected June 17, 1849. It is continuous 
of roads to Syracuse, Oswego, &c. 

The Dextery Brownvilley and Pamelia Plank Roady 5 miles 12 
chains long, connects Pamelia Village, opposite Watertown 
Village, with Dexter. It was recorded May 6, 1849, and finis*hed 
Octobier 5, 1850. It is continued by the Dexter and Limerick 
Plank Roady to the town line of Lyme, towards Cape Vincent. 
Surveyed May 2, 1849, and completed thus far in May, 1850. It 
also connects with the Dexter and Houndsfield Plank Roady 3 
miles, 26 chains, 94 links long, which runs from Dexter to the 
Watertown and Sackets Harbor Road, near the latter place. It 
was inspected through, August 13, 1849. 

A line of roads from Alexandria Bay to Watertown, was pro- 
jected and mostly finished, consisting of the Theresa and Mexi 
andria Bay Plank Roady 12 miles long; completed December 5, 
1849, and the Theresa Plank Ready towards £vans' Mills, of 
\rhich about 4 miles were completed July 6, 1852. The Theresa 
and Clayton Plank Road (16 miles 56 chains 60 links) between 
these places, was recorded May 21, 1849, and completed June 
26, 1850. This road passes through La Fargeville. 

The completion of these roads has contributed much to the 
prosperity of the country, although some of them have not met 
(he expectations of those who invested money in them. The 

324 fVatertown and Rome Rail Road. 

rail roads finished and in progress will so entirely supersede the 
use of several that they wiJl never be rebuilt. As a general ave- 
rage they have cost about $1,000 per miJe, and the companies 
have been formed in the localities directly interested in their 
construction. The material has generally been hemlock plank, 
8 feet long, and 3 iiiches thick, usually made along the lines of 
former roads, with improved routes in certain points, and often 
"wilh costly and permanent grades and excavations. The enter- 
prise of our citizens appears to have been diverted from this 
branch of improvement to other more direct and easy means of 
access to the markets. Within three years, about 170 miles of 
plank roads were built in the county. 

Rah. Roads. — The people of Jelierson County early caught 
the spirit of improvement, of late years so strikingly evinced in 
the construction of railroads; and that from Albany to Schenec- 
tady, the first one in the country, had hardly got into successful 
operation, when the project of gaining an access to market by 
this means was brought up ibr discussion; and on the 17th of 
April, 183*2, an act was passed incorporating the Wafertowti 
and Rome Rail Road, which act was never allowed to expire, but 
was revived repeatedly by the legislature, and after years of pa- 
tient and persevering eifort, this truly beneficial road was opened. 
The company was clothed with powers to build a road from 
Rome to Watertown, and thence to the St. Lawrence, or Lake 
Ontario, or both, with a capital of $1,000,000, in shares of $100. 
Work was to commence within three, and end within five years. 
The commissioners named in the act were Henry H. Coffeen, 
Edmund Kirby, Orville Hungerford and William Smith, of Jef- 
ferson County; Jesse Armstrong, Alvah Sheldon, Aitemas Trow- 
bridge and Seth D. Roberts, of Oneida; and Hiram Hubbell, 
Benjamin H. Wright, Caleb Carr and Elisha Hart, of Oswego, 
who were to receive stock and appoint a meeting for the choice 
of thirteen directors. On the 10th of May, 1836, this act- was 
revived, and its duration extended the original term; a new com- 
mission named, which, with the addition of George C. Sherman, 
was, for Jelierson County, the same as before, and a clause in- 
serted, requiring $25,000 to be expended within two years, and 
the work to be finished in four years. The provisions of the 
Attica and Buffalo Rail Road charter were made applicable to 
this. On the 6th of May, 1837, the charter w^as revived and 
amended, by dividing into sections, of which the first extended 
from the lake or river to Watertown; the second^ from Water- 
town to Adams, and thence to Salmon river, and the thirds to 
Rome. The company might organize and commence operations 
when able to build one of these sections, as follows: No. l,on 
$76,000; No. 2, on $250,000; No. 3, on 375,000. The sum of 

• Wuiertown and Rome Rail Road. 325 


$10,000 was required to be expended within two years; within 

iour years, one section; within six years, the whole road was to be 

done. Claike Rice, Hermon Cutler, and Alvah Ilazen were added 

fo the commissioners. On the 17lh of May, 1845, the last two acts 

"Were extended and the charter continued for the original term; 

$25,000 were required to be spent w ithin two years, and the whole 

to be finished within four years. On the 2Sth of April, 1847, the 

tormer time was extended one year and the latter two years. 

The capital was extended $500,000, for the purpose of laying 

ci heavy iron rail of at least fii'ty-six pounds to the yard. Hav- 

i ng given a brief synopsis of the legislation concerning this road, 

>^e i^rill now relate the progress of organization, surveys and 


Nothing was attempted towards effecting the objects for which 
t he company was chartered, till near the time when it would 
liave expired by the limitation of the act. 

A numerous and respectable meeting of citizens, from Jeffer- 
son and Oswego counties, was held at Pulaski, June 27, 1836, 
s^nd a committee appointed to address the public on the subject 
the Watertown and Rome Rail Road. The principal object 
this address, was to impress tipon the public mind the import- 
it ce of immediate action and efficient exertion, with a view of 
iring these permanent advantages, both individually and col- 
1 ectively, to the country. A belief of the impracticability of 
^he work had become prevalent, to refute which, the following 
^acts were adduced, which are instructive, as showing the progress 
that had then been made in this line of engineering: 1st. Upon 
"Ihe Paterson and Jersey City Rail Road, sixteen miles long, a 
'^rain, with one engine, had drawn forty passengers around 
c:urves of 400 feei radius, and up grades of forty-five feet to the 
tnile, at the rate of twelve miles an hour. 2d. On the Camden 
and Araboy Rail Road, the daily cars carried from fifty to one 
Iiundred and fifty passengers from twelve to fifteen miles an hour, 
Xip grades of forty to fifty feet. 3rd. On the Baltimore and Ohio 
Xlail Road, an engine, weighing seven and a half tons, had 
drawn two cars, each thirty feet in length, and containing fifty 
;{)assengers each, up grades of forty-five feet. 4th. It had been 
ascertained, from experiment, that a Baltimore engine, weighing 
^ight tons, would draw fifty tons, on a grade of fifty feet, at the 
:x-ate of ten miles an hour. 5th. An elevation of two hundred 
^nd fifty-three feet per mile had been overcome by a locomotive 
drawing a car of thirty-three passengers. 

A subscription was in circulation at this time, to secure a pre- 
liminary survey; a concession of the right of way was solicited, 
^nd the public generally was invoked to lend aid to this measure, 
^o indispensable to the prosperity of the country. The committee 

326 fVatertown and Rome Rail Road. 

were: William Smith, G. C. Sherman and I. H. Bronson, of 
Watertown, J. H. Wells, of Pulaski, and Lemuel Freeman, 
of Williamstown, who employed Mr. William Dewey to make 
a survey from Watertown to Rome, which was done, with 
the aid of Robert F. Livingston and James Roberts, and the 
results reported in September, 1836. The distance of the 
line surveyed, which passed through Pulaski, was seventy-six 
miles, forty-five chains; the cost, with the strap rail then used, 
was e'stimated at $6,460*29 per mile, and the whole cost, 
with nine turnouts, $512,615*95. There was no estimate made 
of station houses, and other a{)|)endages. On the 22d of August, 
an informal meeting was hold at Watertown, to report the 
progress of the survey, and raise means to complete itf The 
press, in reporting these proceedings, awarded especial and 
merited praise to Mr. William Smith, for the energetic and dis- 
interested manner in which he was engaged in this measure. 
The report of the engineer was received at Pulaski, September 
22, and a committee of three, in each town, appointed to solicit 
subscriptions. The zeal and ability with which Mr. Dewey 
performed this survey, deserve especial commendation; but the 
project was destined this time to fail in achievement, and the 
crisis in the money market, which followed in the wake of spec- 
ulation that ensued, precluding all idea of progress, the rail 
road project was allowed to slumber for nearly ten years. 

At an early stage of these movements, an anxiety was felt in 
the towns of Brownville and Lyme,lhen including Cape Vin- 
cent, to secure the continuation of the road, and on the 13th of 
May, 1836,' an act was passed, incorporating the Watertown 
and Cape Vincent Rail Road, with a capital of $50,000, and 
the following commissioners were named to receive stock, and 
organize the company: Jerre Carrier, Henry Ains\^orth, Koswell 
T. Lee, Samuel Lockwood, Edmund Kirby, George C. Sherman, 
Isaac H. Bronson, and John Williams; who, in the fall of the 
same year, also employed Mr. William Dewey to survey the 
line. This was accomplished with the aid of Robert F. Living- 
ston and L. N. Bow^lsby, and estimated as feasible at $65,429*29 
for grading, by the cheapest route, and the total cost of grading 
and superstructure was placed at $145,965*88. Grades were 
found, not exceeding thirty-three feet per mile, and the distance 
surveyed, twenty-five miles and nineteen chains. Stock to the 
amount of the capital was nominally subscribed, mostly in the 
localities to be directly benefited, but nothing further w*as done, 
and this project, as distinct from the former, was allowed to 

In 1835, a charter was granted for a rail road in Canada, from 
Hamilton to Sandwich, and from Toronto to Sarnia, but both 
charters expired, and in 1845 both were renewed. In Septem- 

* WaAertown and Rome Rail Road. 327 

ber^ 1845, Sir Allen McNab, procured, in London, subscriptions 
to the former, of $5,500,000, of which $750,000 were paid 
' down. This was the beginning o]* that system of Canadian 
rail roads, which may be said to form a connecting link with 
this, by lines of steamers, and to constitute a part of the same 

In the spring of 1844, at a time when the attention of the pub- 
lic was not directed to this object, and it bad apparently been 
forgotten, Mr. Dewey, who had taken an active part in the form 
er surveys, began writing articles ior the Black River Journal 
as communications or editorials, an(1 in some cases by quoting 
from exchange papers, extracts elucidating the advantages of 
i^ailroads, he endeavored to revive the public interest in this mea- 
sure. In July, 1844, two thousand copies of a pamphlet entitled, 
** Suggestions urging the construction of a Rail Road from Rome 
to W'atertown," were printed and distribute*! by him.* The sub- 
ject gradually became the topic of conversation, and early in 
X845 a meeting was held at Cape Vincent, which, on the 1st 
of May, was followed by one at Mechanics' Hall in Watertown, 
vipon a call of eighty-six citizens, at which a committee of cor- 
B^espondence was chosen, and the delegation from the county in 
X he Legislature were instructed to use their influence in securing 
^ renewal of the charter. Meetings were soon after held at 
c:>ther places, which passed strong resolutions, and numerous com- 
mittees were appointed to excite public attention to the object. 
On the 2d of August a meeting was held at Rome, and at Water- 
town on the 29th; a large assemblage from Oswego, Jefferson 
^nd Oneida Counties met at the Agricultural Hall and passed 
strong resolutions in favor of immediate action towards the con- 
struction of the road. On the 19th of September, pursuant to a 
oall signed by two hundred influential citizens of Kingston, a 
^neeting was held in that city, at which the Mayor, Thomas H. 
Hobioson, presided. The proposed railroad to Rome met with 
the cordial approbation of the meeting, and a proposition was 
entertained ' for procuring a charter for the Wolf Island, Kings- 
ton and Toronto Rail Road to form with one from the latter place to 
Sandwich a continuous line to Detroit. The subscriptions to 
stock having amounted to $925,000, and as the charter of the 
>*oacl would expire in May following, the commissioners issued a 
c^ircular December 226th, 1846, calling upon stock holders for 
authority to transfer their subscriptions to sections Nos. 1, 3, 2, 
^rora Cape Vincent to Salmon River, not with a view of con- 
tructing these first, but to enable the company to organize and 
hoose directors, by whom the affairs of the road could be more 
effectually managed. No intention was expressed of commencing 
rork on the road until enough was secured to complete it 

*See note in the appendix. 

328 Watertown and Rome Rail Road. 

On the 10th of February, 1S47, a numerous and enthusiastic 
railroad meeting (having been several times adjourned) met at 
the Universalist church, Watertown. The Hon. William C. 
Pierrepont presided, 0. V. Brainard, S Buckley, Jerre Carrier and 
John Whipple, were chosen vice presidenis; John A. Sheruiari, 
J. H. Fisk, J. N. llottiers, and John Binsse, secretaries. Spirit- 
ed addresses were made, and a sei ies of forcible resolutions passed 
in favor of the speedy commencement of the work. 

In March, 1S47, it was announced that a sufficient amount of 
stock had been, taken, or transferred, to build section, one and 
two, and on the 6th of April the stockholders completed their 
organization by electing the following persons directors, viz: 
iS\ ./V. Dexter^ Ckarlex Rice, William C. Pierreponty Robert B. 
Doxtaterj John JL Whipple , Orville Hunger fordj JS'orris J\l, 
WoodruJ/\ William Smithy S. Buckley^ Edmund Kirbi/j Jerre 
Carrier^ Theophilus Peugncf, and Clarke Rice. 

Orville llungerford was chosen president; Clarke Rice, secre^ 
iaryy and Orville V. Brainard treasurer. 

Immediately after their election, the directors proceeded to 
obtain a renewal of the charter, with leave to increase their cap- 
ital for the purpose of laying a heavier rail than was originally 
intended. A committee was sent to Boston and New York to 
solicit stock, but mostly without success, and a new effort was 
made at home. The proposed advantages of the road to the 
country were eloquently set forth in a circular, by the directors, da- 
ted August 20, 3847; and an urgent appeal made to the public 
for aid. The sum of §150,000 was at this time needed. A suf- 
ficient sum having been subscribed to save the charter, a meet- 
ing of the stock holders was held at the Court House, on the 21st 
of March, 1848. After several addresses by those who had been 
actively engaged in prosecuting the work, among whom were 
O. llungerford, Clarke Rice, William Smith, William Dewey, L* 
J. Goodale and others. Mr. Lord, from the committee on reso- 
lutions, reported as follows: 

" Whereas y subscriptions for stock in the Watertown, Rome 
and Cape Vincent Rail Road have been obtained, sufficient in 
amount to authorize the organization of the entire line, thus dis- 
pensing with the division into sections; and wherciis, the stock- 
holders consider this contemplated improvement of vital import- 
ance to the northern section of the state, through which it will 
pass, and that the business from the country, from the lakes and 
from Canada, which will be drawn to it, must render the stock 
valuable; therefore: 

Resolved, That the entire line of the road, from Rome to Cape 
Vincent, be considered one and indivisible, and that the faith of 
this company is pledged to use all lawful and proper means for 

Watertown and Rome Rail Road. 329 

its spceily completion, and that the directors be, and they are 
la ere by requested to pass a resolution, fixing the northern termi- 
nus of the road at Cape Vincent, and enter the same in the 
books of the company. 

Kesolvedy That the directors proceed without delay to the 
speedy construction of said road, as indicated by the charier, from 
I<.ojme to Cape Vincent. 

Ilesolved, That we, will sustain said directors, in prosecuting 
such project, to our utmost liabilities, and with all our influence, 
2% ml that we will exert every eflbrt in our power to aid them in 
procuring the balance of means requisite to the full accomplish- 
zzient of said object. 

Resolved, That in commencing a work of such magnitude, in 
a.nticipation of the great benefits which must result to our agri- 
c^ultural, manufacturing and other interests, we should not hesi- 
Isite nor permit seeming difficullies to retard our progress, but 
x^KRSEVEKE, Until all obstacles are overcome and the road com- 

These resolutions were enthusiastically passed. 

On the of 24th April, 1^48, the directors employed Isaac W. 

Crane, of Troy, a civil engineer, to re-survey the route, who, the 

s^me day, organized three parties, under the charge of Charles 

F*. Smith, Octave Blanc and Henry Van Vlect, and about the 

xxiidclle of July the field work of the survey was completed. The 

Summit was found to be only 190 feet above Rome, the heaviest 

grades towards the south being thirty, and towards the north 

thirty-five feet per mile. The estimated cost of superstructure 

"Was $6,062.40 per mile, and the total of grading, bridging and 

fencing, $442,940.62. The entire cost of the road, including 

^n^^ities, cars, depots, land, damages, &c., was estimated at 

% lT250,620. 

Xhe viewing committee of the County Agricultural Society, 
in their report of September, J848, say of the vast importance of 
this road: — 

" The farming and other interests are at this time making 
vigorous eflorts to raise funds to construct a rail road from Cape 
Vincent to Rome. We are fully satisfied of its practicability, 
and feel safe in saying, that now is the time to put forth united 
efforts for sejcuring this all-important object. We are too apt to 
act as though our influence was of no account in the accom-> 
plishment of great public improvements. Is it estimated that 
there are 720,000 acres in the county of Jefferson. It is not a 
low estimate to make the benefits of the road, if it were construct- 
ed, to reckon the increased value of the products of the soil for 
the first five years at $1 per acre? Is it too much to calculate 
that by the first five years operation of the road, the value of the 

330 fVatertown and Rome Rail Road. 

soil will be increased $1 per acre? Now add the increased valu 
of the first five years products of the soil ($720,000), to 
the increased value of the soil (720,000), and we ha?e 
$1,440,000, an amount sufficient to construct the entire 
road. But it is thought, by those competent to judge, that i 
$500,000 were subscribed in this county, the remainder could be 
easily obtained in the cities. Farmers of Jefferson! can we long 
slumber when such high interests are at stake, and neglect lo 
come forth with united strength and reap the golden harvest that 
already waves in the breeze! Already a favorable charter is 
secured; capable and faithful officers are elected; over $300,000 
of the stock is taken in the county. All we now lack is at once 
to take an amount of stock equal to the direct and immediate 
benefit we shall receive, and its speedy construction is rendered 

In November, 1848, work was commenced at Rome, and soon 
after at other important points, and the road was so far completed, 
as to allow the passage of trains to Camden, in the fall of 1849. 
On the 10th of April, 1851, the Hon. Wm. C. Pierrepont, was 
chosen president, in place of Orville Hungerford, deceased, and 
on the same day a resolution was passed for extending a branch 
of the road, from the located line up the river bank, into the 
village of W atertown. 

On the £8th of May, 1851, the road was completed to Pierre- 
pont Manor, and a large party from Watertown, Rome, and other 
sections, assembled to celebrate the era of the entrance of the 
first, rail road train into Jefferson County. The occasion passed 
off much to the enjoyment of all parties, which was greatly en- 
hanced by the elegant hospitality of Mr. Pierrepont, the president 

The first engine reached Watertown, September 5, at eleven 
o'clock in the night, and on the 24th of the same month, its 
completion to that place was again celebrated with festivities, 
which, in their profusion, evinced the cordiality with which 
the citizens of that thriving village, welcomed the completion of 
this long desired improvement. On the 20th of November it was 
finished to Chaumont, and in April, 1852, to Cape Vincent; the 
cars commencing regular trips on the first of May. 

The contract for building the road, was taken by Phelps, Matoon 
and Barnes, of Springfield, Massachusetts. The rails are from the 
manufactory of Guest & Co., Wales, and not a single bar has 
broken, since the road has been in operation. 

The company, to obtain the means of completing the road, has 
issued three classes of bonds, the first on the 1st of July, 1850, 
for $400,000, payable from 1858 to 1868, at the rate of $40,000 
a year; the second, July 1. 1851, of $250,000, one half of which 
has been converted into stock; and the third, of $200,000, which 
was soon after converted into stock* 

fVatertoum and Rome Rail Road. 


The following statistical table gives the principal data con- 
oemiog this road. It is derived i'rom the official map, deposited 
in the state-engineer's office. 

Lencrth in miles. 



I ' I 

Main j Straight; Curved 
, track. I Line. Line. 

Cape Vincent. I 


Brownville,. . 

Pamelia, | 


Adams, ' 

Ellisburgh, ... 
Bandv Creek,.. 
Richland, .... 



Aon boy, 


Annsvillle, . . 

8. 5300 


Length in miles of grades. 


.0531 1 




, Ascent 

83.800 1 
45.100 ' 
96.120 , 
100.965 i 

1 .9928' 


1. 0112, 



4. 5242 j 

3. 5837 ' 


1 .0252 

Total '95.7253 75.4525:20.2728 1188. 997 19. C012'38. 290437. 833> 





Elevations above tide, — Rome, 442 feet; Annsville, 430*24; 
Fish Creek (bridge), Taberg Station, 416-44; McConnelsville, 
482; Camden, 523-5; West Camden, 538; Williamstown, 682-86; 
Kassoag, 625 36 ; Sand Banks, 5S0; Pinevillo, 546; Centreville, 
552"2; Richland Depot, 5-24-3; Sandy Creek, 5569; Pierrepont 
Manor, 587-8; Adams, 596; Centre, 600; Watertown, 409-8; 
Black River, Bridge, 401; Brownville, 327*5; Limerick, 322*3; 
Chaumont, 289*2; Chaumont Bridge, 269; Three Mile Bay, 
306*3; St Lawrence River, at Cape Vincent, 250 feet. The lat- 
ter is derived from the survey of the engineer of the road, and 
differs from other measurements, several feet. Upon Burr's Statie 
Map, the elevation of Lake Ontario, above tide, is stated to be 
234 feet, while the recent Canadian rail road surveys make 
238i feet. 

In connection with this road, and in a measure forming 
a part of it, is the project, now nearly completed, of con- 
structing a canal across a narrow part of Wolf, or Long Island, 
between two bays that form deep indentations upon its opposite 
sides, and which will afford a communication, nearly direct, be- 
tween Cape Vincent and Kingston, by which canal boats and 
small craft from the Rideau Canal, and Bay of Quinte, can pass 
at all times when the navigation is open, without encountering 
the risks of weathering the exposed points at the head of the 


332 tVatertoum and Rome Rail Road. 

island, which, from beingj opposite to the open lake, are liable to 
accident in rough weather. • The contract was let Ibr JC14,000, 
to Joseph Millner, and the stock is said to be principally owned 
in Kingston. 

In our account of Cape Vincent, page 1 15, we noticed the extent 
and number of warehouses, &c, appertaining to this road. There 
are also depots, built in a substantial manner, at Three Mile Bay, 
Chaumont, Limerick, Brownviile. VVatertown, Adams Centre, 
Adams, Pierrepont Manor, and Mannsville, in Jefferson County; 
Sandy Creek, Richland, Sand Banks, Kassoag, and Williams- 
town, in Oswego County; and West Camden, Camden, McCon- 
nelsville, Taberg, and Rome, in Oneida County. Those at the 
two extremities of the road, and at W^atertown, are of ample 
size; and additions are, from time to time, made to the others, as 
the wants of the road require. At Pierrepont Manor, an exten- 
sive eating house has been fitted up, affording the usual refresh- 
ments served at restaurants, except spirituous liquors. Over a mile 
of depot ground has been secured on the Erie Canal, at Rome, 
for lumber yards and other j)urposes. Since the road was first 
completed, in May, 1S52, trains have been run daily (Sundays 
excepted) with great precision, and hitherto witlioxd accident 
resulting in loss or injury to the person of a single passenger. 
The directors of the road, in their report of 1852, mainly attrib- 
ute this regularity, and exemption from accident, to the energy 
and ability of J. L. Grant, assistant superintendent, and master 
mechanic; to which may be added, that the arrangements 
adopted by the late Robert B. Doxtater, the first superintendent, 
which have been ably continued by Mr. J. Collamer, his succes- 
sor, have done much to secure these results. The engineers, 
conductors, and others in the employ of the company, have evinced 
a care and interest, in the discharge of their duties, that t-ntitle 
them to especial commendation. 

It would be a delicate and invidious task, to particularize 
those who have evinced an early and abiding interest in the suc- 
cess of this improvement. Many we have mentioned in connec- 
tion with the above account, some of whom pledged large 
subscriptions, when the profits of the investment were uncertain, 
and others, without the means of aiding, pecuniarily, were not 
the IcvSS serviceable by the zeal with which they labored to excite 
and maintain that interest in the improvement, so essential to 
its ultimate success. The result has justified the most sanguine 
anticipation of its friends, and added immensely to the wealth 
of the country through which it passes. Few roads in the 
country, of the extent and cost of this, will compare with it 
in the value of its stock, or the success which has attended its 

fVatertown and Rome Rail Road. 


The following are the statistical returns of this road for the 
year 1852 and 1853, ending September 30. Of the former year 
but four months are embraced: 

Capital stock, ns by charter, 

Amount of stock sultscribed and paid, September 30, 

Amount of funded debt, 

Amount of floatin;^ debt. 

Cost of grading and masonry to September 30, 1853, 

Bridges, ..... 

Superstructure, including iron. 

Passenger and freight stations, &c., . 

Ktigine and car houses, shops and fixtures. 

Laud, land damages and fiences, 

Locomotives and fixtures, and snow plows, 

Pnssienger and baggage cars, 

Freight and other car.'', .... 

Engineering and agencies. 

Total cost of road 

Length of road, 

Lfmgth of double track, 

Weight of rail per yard on main track, 

Number of engine houses and shops, j 

Eugiues, .... 

. $1,500,000 

1853, 1,346,075 











12 ^y82 




Miles nm by passenger trains. 

Freight trains. 

Number of passengers carried in cars. 

Carried one mile. 

Tons of freight carried in cars. 

Carried one mile, 

Ayerage speed passenger trains, including stops, per hour. 

In motion, . . ... 

Freight trains in motion, . . . 

Ayernge weight of passenger trains, exclusive of paapengers 

baggage, in tons, 
Average weight of freight trains, exclusive of freight in tons, 
Product of the forest in tons. 
Animals, .... 

Vegetable food, .... 

Other agricultural products, 
Manufactures, .... 

Merchandize, . . . . . 

Other articles, .... 

Expense of maintaining road, $30,402 

Expenses of repairs of machinery, . 11,862 

Expenses of operating the road, . 66,181 

Receipts from passengers, 110,635 

From freight, .... 104,497 

From other sources, . . . . 8,260 

Payments for transportation expenses, 108,446 

Interest, . . . . 23,680 

Dividends, . . 81,513 


96 miles 

56 lbs. 


















. 4,142 














334 Sockets Harbor and Ellishurgh Rail Road. 

In the summer of 1851, the project of a rail road from Water- 
town to Potsdam being under discussion, it was agreed by the 
Waterlown and Rome Rail Road Company, that if the new route 
would be undertaken, they would construct a branch from their 
present depot, up into the central part of the village. The lat- 
ter was commenced in 1853, and is so far advanced that it will 
be in use early next season. The right to taking private property 
for a road way, as is enjoyed by new roads, was confirmed by an 
act of the session of 1853, and the requisite permission has been 
granted by the villap:e authorities. A depot is to be constructed 
adjacent to the Woodruff House, when this work, and the Pols- 
dam and Waterlown roads arc completed. 

Sackets Harbor and Ellishursrh Rail Road. — As early as 
May 15, 1837, a company was chartered, styled the " Trenton 
and Sackets Harbor Rail Road Company," capital $600,000, 
in which James Hough, Herman Terry, Luther Guitteau, Elisha 
Camp, M. K. Stow, Thomas S. Hall, Jason Fairbanks, Piatt 
Williams, Ashley Davenport, Chester Buck, Samuel Allen, Noah 
M. Harger and Arphaxed Loom is were named commissioners to 
receive subscriptions for stock, but effected nothing. In the fall 
of 1848, the present road began to be discussed, with a view of 
connecting with the Watertown and Rome Railroad, at Adams 
or Pierrepont Manor. The opinion was expressed, that if the 
road from the harbor to one of these points was opened by the 
time that the other had reached it from Rome, the latter would 
not be continued to Watertown and Cape Vincent. Acting 
upon this belief, strenuous efforts were made to secure the means 
lor prosecuting the work, and May 23, 1850, the organization 
was completed, and Willard Dodge, Jesse C. Dann, Samuel T. 
Hooker, Augustus Ford, Marcellus R. Patrick, David Hunter, 
C. C. Symonds, Elisha Camp, Dyer N. Burnham, Samuel Hack- 
ley, Green Packer, F. Wooley, and Henry Green, Jr., were cho- 
sen first directors. A survey had been made by Bryant C. Tilden, 
in 1840, and an act procured April 9, of that year, declaring the 
work of sufficient public utility to warrant the taking of private 
properly for its construction, and the company was empowered 
to consolidate with any road with w^hich it connected, on such 
terms as might be agreed upon. Soon after the company was 
formed, the present connection w^ith the other road was decided 
upon, and a contract made with Thomas Stetson, of Boston, to 
build the road for §150,000 — one-third in cash, onc-thirj in 
stock, as the road progressed, and one-third in cash when the 
work was done. The road was re-sun-eyed by Calvin Brown, 
and work was begun; but the contractor failed to complete his 
agreement, and the work was let to Barker and Hoes, who did 
likewise. The company, after spending several thousand dol- 

Potsdam and fVatertotim Rail Road. 335 

lars in smh\\ jobs of grading, subsequently let the work to Phelps, 
Platoon and Barns, of Springfield, the builders of the connecting 
road, by whom it has been completed. By a resolution of the 
lx>ard of directors, passed August 20, 1850, bonds, to the extent 
of §150,000, were directed to be issued, redeemable in 1862, 
%vith semi-annual interest. On the 14th of November, 1850, ten 
miles bad been graded, and on the 18th of January, 1851, but 
three miles of grading remained. In the returns to the state- 
engineer, dated December 24, 1852, $201,319*62 are reported 
as expended, and three-fourths of a mile of track laid. The 
road was finally completed with a heavy rail, and opened for the 
regular passage of trains on the 1st day ef June, 1853. The 
capital of the company is $175,000. Length, eighteen miles; 
least radius of curve, 1,910 feet; highest grade, forty feet per 
mile. Trains pass over the road twice daily in each direction, 
iQ connection with the trains going south, on the Watertown 
and Rome Kail Road, and with the steamers of the Ontario and 
St. Lawrence Steam Boat Company, both up and down Lake 
Ontario and the St. Lawrence. An act passed by the late Con- 
gress, granting for the rail road the privilege of extending a 
wharf from the present depot, at Sackets Harbor (at the steam 
boat landing), in front of Madison Barracks, to the U. S. Hos- 
pital, that will afford, when completed, abundant facilities for 
transferring lumber and freight from vessels to the cars. 

Sackets Harbor is acknowledged to possess the best harbor 
now in use on the lake, always safe and easy of access, and 
sheltered from storms; and an inspection of the ipap will show 
that this rail road affords a communication about twenty-five miles 
nearer to Rome than by way of Cape Vincent. Smithville, Hen- 
derson and Belleville are stations on this road. The project is 
now in discussion of continuing the line to Pulaski and Syracuse. 
Some knowledge of the commerce of Sackets Harbor, for a few 
years before the completion of this road, from the records of the 
Custom House, which show that during 1846 the exports coast- 
wise amounted to $ 1,106,986*75, and abroad to $75,345*80. The 
imports coastwise were $1,550,909, and abroad, $1,851*67. 
The aggregate tonnage, December 31, lb46, was 4,994 J §, and 
had increased in 1846, 1,669^ § tons. 

The Potsdam and Watertown Rail Road, now in course of 
grading, is to be about seventy-six miles in length, and is to ex- 
tend from the Watertown and Rome Rail Road, in the village of 
Watertown, through to Evans' Mills, Philadelphia, Antwerp, 
Gouverneur, Canton and Potsdam Villages, to the North- 
ern Railroad at North Potsdam, or Raquetteville. 

The location of the Northern Rail Road, from Ogdensburgh 
to Rouse's Point, gave great dissatisfaction to citizens of Pots- 

336 Potsdam and Watertown Rail Road. 

dam and Canton, who imagined that their villages had claims 
which had been entirely neglected. That rail road was built, and 
has been controlled by parties interested in New England roads, 
and forming a part of the gigantic system of which Boston has 
made itself a centre, and the principle object of its builders was to 
get a direct route from Lake Cbamplain to the foot of naviga- 
tion on the St. Lawrence. 

The project of a branch to Potsdam was first discussed not long 
after the final location of the Northern Road; but nothing was 
done until July, 1851, when a convention of citizens along the 
proposed line met at Watertown, at which a committee was ap- 
pointed to raise the funds necessary for a survey, and Edward 
H. Brodhead was employed to examine and report the feasibility 
and expense of the road. This gentleman had been previously 
engaged in canal surveys for the state through the same section, 
and was well acquainted with the natural features of the country, 
and the route best adapted for the road. The survey was com- 
pleted the same fall, and on the 8th of January, 1852, a meeting 
was held at Gouverneur to receive the report and decide upon 
an organization. There had been found no point where the 
depth of filling would exceed thirty feet, or of cutting twenty 
feet, nor would the line in any place deviate from a straight 
line more than three miles. The grades were found not to ex- 
ceed thirty-seven feet, and wMth one exception, the shortest 
radius of curve was 2000 feet. 

The statistics which had been collected by the committee, 
gave the following number of tons, of freight, which several of 
the towns on the route would afford annually: 

Canton, 14,000; Herraon, 2,917; Gouverneur, 15,016; Pots- 
dam, 54,506; Hermon and Russell, 4,000; Jefferson County, 63,- 
058. Making an aggregate of 103,497 tons. 

A company was formed the same day (January 8, 1852), un- 
der the general act, to continue 150 years, with a capital of 
♦780,000, and the following persons were designated as first direc- 
tors, viz: Eli Farewell, Orville V. Brainard and Hiram Halcomb, 
of Watertown; William McAllaster, of Antwerp; Edwin Dodge 
and William E. Sterling, of Gouverneur; Orville Page and Bar- 
zillai Hodskin, of Canton; Zenas Clark, Joseph H. Sanford, 
Samuel Partridge and William W. Goulding, of Potsdam. 

The record in the secretary's office shows the following num- 
ber of shares of $100 each, originally taken in the severaltowns 
to organize: Watertown 31, Antwerp 33, Rossie 14, Gouverneur 
120, Herman 2, Edward 1, Canton 150, Potsdam 268, Ogdens- 
burgh 1. These subscriptions were not secured without strenu- 
ous efforts; and on the 7th of April, 1851, an act was procured, 
allowing the company to exercise the powers of the general act. 

Sachets Harbor and Saratoga Kail Road. 337 

whenever $5000 per mile should be subscribed. In October, 
1852, the coinpany contracted with Phelps, Matoou and Barnes, 
the builders of the other two roads in the county, by whom the 
labor is to be completed in 1854. The present directors, elected 
February 2, 1S53, are A. 1\L Adsit, of Colton; J. H. Saniord, 
Z. Clark, S. Partridge and VV. W. Goulding, of Potsdam; E. 
Miner and B. Hodskin, of Canton; W. E. Stirling and E. Dodge, 
of Gouverneur; Hiram B. Keen, of Antwerp; H. Holcomb, 0. V. 
Brainard and H. Cooper, of Watertown. The Hon. Edwin 
Dodge, of Gouverneur, has been the president of the company 
since its organization. Henry L. Knowles, of Potsdam, is the 
present secretary, and Daniel Lee, of Watertown, the treasurer. 
The Sackets Harbor and Saratoga Rail Road Company was in- 
corporated by an act of April 10, 154S, by which Elisha Camp, 
Jesse C. Dann, Augustus Ford, Thomas S. Hall, Samuel T. 
Hooker and Dyer N. Burnham, of Sackets Harbor; Francis Seger 
«nd Dean S. Howard, of Lewis County; Edward Edwards, 
Thomas J. Marvin, Gideon M. Davidson and Lebbeus Booth, of 
Saratoga County; Hiram McCollom and Patrick S. Stewart, of 
Carthage; John Felt, of Felt's Mills, and Charles E. Clarke, 
of Great Bend, were empowered, with their associates, to con- 
struct a rail road from Sackets Harbor, by way of Carthage, and 
through from thence, in the most direct and eligible route, to 
Saratoga County. Upon paying into the state treasury the sum 
of $5,000, the company was to have for three years the pre-emp- 
tion right of 250,000 acres of stale lands, in tracts of not more 
than 2000, nor less than 1000 acres, not adjacent, but with 
intervals of at least 1000 acres, for which, so often as 
$25,000 was expended east of Carthage, and five cents per acre 
paid into the treasury, the comptroller was to issue deeds of 
25,000 acres, and for like amounts for similar expenditures until 
the whole amount of 250,000 acres should have been conveyed. 
The $5,000 to be first paid was to be credited on the lands. By an 
act passed March 29, 1851, the provisions of the general rail 
road act were applied to this, and the limitation of the organiza- 
tion extended one year. 

On the 10th of January, 1S52, a company was formed at Al- 
bany, accordingly, with a capital of $2,500,000, of which the 
trustees first named in the articles of association were P. S. 
Stewart, of Carthage; C. E. Clarke, of Great Bend; Anson 
Blake, of Brooklyn; Lyman R. Lyon, of Greig; T. P. Ballou, of 
Utica; Robert Spicer, of West Milton; Otis Clapp and Francis 
Tukey, of Boston; Alva Crocker and Ivers Philips, of Fitch- 
burgh. Mr. Clapp was chosen president. Thirteen individuals 
of Boston subscribed fifty shares each; at Fitchburgh one hun- 
dred, and at Georgetown fifty shares; and in Saratoga, Lewis 


338 Sockets Harbor and Saratoga Rail Road. . 

and JefTerson Counties sums of less amount. On the 15th 
April, 1853, an act was passed continuing the validity of the o '^' 

In the summer of 1851, a i)reliminary survey was made b_^ ^^ 
Bryant P. Tilden, Jr., which gave the length of the route 16^" ^ 
miles, and the probable cost of the construction, with equipment 
as $3,669,045, and during the last season surveying parties havi 
been engaged in exploring new routes, in hopes of finding im 
proved grades, and the location of the road has not yet beei 
made. It is said, that no grade will exceed thirty-five feet pei 
mile, and that there are no deep rock cuttings or expensive 
gradings and bridges on the entire line. By a circular, dat< 
February 7, 1853, a committee, consisting of Messrs. Clarke, 
Stewart, and Lyon, called upon the proprietors of lands in the wil- 
derness through which this road will pass, to contribute one-thinfc^ 
of these lands to effect this object, assuming that the remainin[ 
two-thirds will become far more valuable in consequence. Thb 
has been done to a great extent, and the donation from the staU 
was based on the same principle. 

This road may also be considered a Boston project, and should! 
the proposed tunnel through the Hoosic Mountain be constructed,, 
it will form a more direct communication between the great: 
lakes and the sea board, than any now existing. The vast: 
amount of timber and mineral products which it will open to< 
market, with the directness of its route for through freight, and. 
the immense landed estate upon which the company is based,, 
are features which render the friends of this road confident, that 
it will be soon built, and become an object of profit to them- 
selves, as it will assuredly be of immense benefit to the country. 

In December, 1852, the'plan of a railroad, from some point on 
the central line, through the Black River valley to the St. Law- 
rence, began to be discussed, and a meeting to be held at Low- 
ville, January 8, 1853, signed by thirty-four prominent citizens 
of Lewis County, appeared in the JVorthern yoz/rna/ of Lowville, 
the week previous. This meeting was accordingly held. A com* 
mittee of five persons in each county interested was appointed 
to collect statistics and facts to report to future meetings, of 
which one was appointed at Theresa, on the 20th, and another 
at Boonville, on the 26th of the same month. 

The meeting at Boonvi lie was attended by those representing 
the claims of Herkimer, Utica, and Rome, for the southern ter- 
minus, but the weight of interests represented was in favor of 
the first of these, and a company was formed under the name of 
the Black River Rail Road Company^ with a capital of 
$1,200,000, for the purpose of building a road from Clayton, on 
the St Lawrence, by way of Carthage and the west side of the 

Rad Roads through the Black River Valley. 339 

Black River, to the valley of West Canada Creek, to Herkimer, 
a distance of about 120 miles. The directors named were Benja- 
min Carver, Harvey Dooiittle and Linus Yale, of Herkimer Coun- 
ty; Jonah Howe, Matthew Beecher, and Philip j\I. Schuyler, of 
Oneida County; Ela Merriam, Seth Miller, Moses M.Smith, 
Wm. L. Easton, and John Benedict, of Lewis County; and Sa- 
muel J. Davis, and Lewis T. Ford, of Jellerson County. 

It may be here noticed, that seventeen years' previous (May 
21, 1836), a company of the same name had been chartered by 
a special act to build a road from Clayton to Carthage. A pre- 
liminary survey was made the same year by R. F. Livingston, 
and the route passed through Evan's Mills, and La Fargeville, 
was thirty-one miles in length, and was estimated to cost 
^^6,015'62. Nothing but a survey was attempted. Carthage 
was found by these measurements to be 473 feet above the St. 
Lawrence, at Clayton. This effort on the part of Herkimer im- 
mediately exciteti a spirit of rivalry at Uiica and Rome, and 
three days after the Boonville meeting, viz: January 29^ 1853, 
the Black River and Utica Rail Road Company was organized 
urilb a capital of $1,000,000, for the purpose of building a road 
from that city to Clayton, a distance of about one hundred miles. 
The directors named were T. S. Faxton, Spencer Kellcgg, Jolm 
Butterfield, Martin Hart, Alfred Churchill, James V. P. Gardi- 
ner, Benjamin F. Ray, James S. Lynch, Wm. H. Terry, Hugh 
Crocker, Harvey Barnard, Jonathan R. Warner, and John D. 
Leland, all of Uiica, except the last named, who is of Deerfield. 
T, S. Faxton was chosen president, and J. S. Lynch secretary. 
Daniel C. Jenne was employed to survey a route, and report 
the proper estimates of cost. 

On the 8th of March, a meeting was held at Lowville, at 
which a committee of three from each town, interested in the 
line from Boonville to the St. Lawrence, was appointed to exa- 
mine the claims of the three southern points. Mr. Jenne re- 
ported the results of a survey from Utica to Boonville, and esti- 
mated the cost, with equipment, at $20,000 per mile; and Mr. 
Octave Blanc, who had been engaged on a preliminary survey 
for Rome, also reported the result of his operation south of 
Boonville; and Mr. Wooster, of Herkimer, read the survey made 
by Mr. Jervis, in 1837, for the Herkimer and Trenton Railway. 

After hearing these several reports, the general committee 
found themselves unable to decide the question, and having ap- 
pointed a sub-committee of eight, consisting ojf A. H. Barnes, 
of Martinsburgh; A. Joy, of Clayton; H. Dewey, of Orleans; 
Wm. L. Easton, of Lowville; ElaMerriam, ofLeyden; N. Inger- 
aoll, of Le Ray ; S. Sylvester, of Copenhagen; and A. A. Goodale, 
of West Turin, to visit these several places proposed^ as points 

340 Rail Roads through the Black River VaOey. 

of junction with the central road, and report at the meeting to 
be adjourned to Cartha^^e, on the 22d instant. This meeting at 
Lowville was continued two days, and a most active spirit of 
rivalrj' was exibited by the delegates from the southern sections. 
At the Carthage meeting, great anxiety was felt in the expected 
report of the sub-commitlee, and nearly every member of the 
general committee was present. A resolution was adopted by 
them, that a majority of two-thirds should be required to decide 
upon the termination of the road. The committee of eight re- 
ported, that, having met and organized at Rome on the 14th, 
they resolved upon a series of questions to be proposed to the 
rail road committees of Rome, Utica, and Herkimer, to ascertain 
the cost pi^r acre of fifteen or twenty acres for a depot, on the 
heel path side of the canal, and at least one half mile long, and 
the amount of stock that would be pledged for each, by persons 
south of Boonville. It was found that a connection could 
readily be obtained with the central road, and spirit of liberality 
and accommodation was evinced by the officers of that line. 

At Rome, a delegation, consisting of Messrs. Foster, Strykcr, 
Doty, Comstock, Hopkins, and others, presented the claims and 
preferences of that place; stated that the requisite amount of land 
could be bought at a price not exceeding $250 per acre, and 
pledged at least $300,000, in private Subscriptions, besides what 
might be obtained from the village corporation, which it was 
supposed would amount to $150,000 more. The survey of Mr. 
Blanc had been continued since the meeting at Lowville, on 
the 8th, down the'valley of the Lansing Kill, as far as Stringer's 
Creek Aqueduct, and it was found that the 48 feet grade did 
not exceed 7*91 miles, in reaching the flats, instead of S^ miles, 
as stated in a former report. The distance to Boonville was found 
to be 23 miles. 

At Utica, the committee was received by Messrs. Kellogg, 
Ferry, Churchill, and others. It was found that a sufficient • 
quantity of depot ground could be purchased on the berme side 
and tow path side, at $200 per acre. The sum of $250,000 was 
guaranteed by individuals of Utica, and $100,000 was expected 
to be raised between that city and Boonville. A further sum 
from private means, of $50,000, and $250,000 more from city 
bonds was also expected, making $650,000. A detailed report 
was received from Mr. Jenne, the engineer, on the subject of 
forming a connection with the canal, and several plans were 
pointed out by which that object could be eflfected. 

The committee also visited Herkimer, but as it was understood 
that that place had withdrawn its claims for the terminus, and 
that the company had been disbanded, no report was made upon 
that station. These facts the sub-committee submitted without 

Ogdeniburgh^ Clayton and Rome Rail Road, 341 

expressing their preference of the claims of either. The gene- 
ral committee was in session two days at Carthage, engaged in 
discussing the merits of the rival stations, but the two-third rule 
which they had imposed upon themselves, prevented the requi- 
site majority from being obtained. The iirst ballot was 22 for 
Utica, 22 for Rome, and 2 for Herkimer; and Rome. afterwards 
gained a small majority, but finding it impossible to agree, the 
committee was discharged, and an association styled the Og*- 
densburgh, Clayton, and Rome Rail Road Company was im- 
mediately announced as in the iie)d, and pledged to build a road 
from Rome to Denmark, and thence to the St. Lawrence, at Mor- 
ristown, and Ogdensburgh, with a branch to Clayton. The Og- 
densburgh and Clayton Rail Road Company was formed Febru- 
ary 19, 1853, with a capital of $2,000,000, and the following 
gentlemen as its directors, viz; Henry A. Foster, John Stryker, 
Edward Huntington, and Alva Mudge, of Rome; Elijah B. Al- 
len, and Henry Van Rensselaer, of Ogdensburgh; Augustus 
Chapman, of Morristown; Wm. \Vm. L. Easton, of Lowville; 
Seth Miller, of West Turin; Alanson H. Barnes, of Martins- 
burgh; Sidney Sylvester, of Denmark; SamuelJ. Davis, of W il- 
na; and Jason Clark, of Plessis. Henry A. Foster was chosen 
president; Elijah B. Allen, vice-president; James L. Leonard, 
of Lowville, treasurer; Roland S. Doty, of Rome, secretary; 
Bloomfield J. Beach, of Rome, attorney for the county of Onei" 
da; and Octave Blanc, engineer. 

At a meeting held al Watertown, April 21, a code of by-laws 
was adopted, and the following resolutions passed: 

" Resolved, That it is our intention to construct a rail road, 
from the central line of rail road, and Erie Canal, in the village 
of Rome, to the River St. Lawrence, in the village of Clayton, 
and also to said River St. Lawrence, in the village of Ogdens- 
burgh, and touching the river at Morristown, so as to con- 
nect with the Northern Ogdenslfurgh Rail Road, and the Grand 
Trunk Rail Road, the By Town and Prescott Rail Road, and the 
proposed Pembroke and Brockville Rail Road in Canada. 

Resolved, That in lowness of summit, easy grade, cheapness 
in cost of construction, facility of connection with the central 
line of rail road, and the Erie Canal, and in having its termina- 
tion at such points, as to command the business of the country, 
and of Canada, this road has decided advantages over any other 
proposed line of rail road from the St. Lawrence River to the 
said central line, and canal, and can and will he built; and that 
we unanimously pledge ourselves to the stockholders and to each 
other, to push forward the enterprise to completion and 
without delay." 

This claim of superiority is, of course, contested by the rival 

342 Bhck River and Utiea RaU Road. 

route, as well as that now finished. The plan of connecting 0^** 
densburgh with some other road, by a line south-west from Ih^"* 
place, had come up for discussion, while the Potsdam and Wo. ^ 
tertown Rail Road was in course of organization, but nothing w; 
then crfected. It was next pioposed lo connect that place wit 
the road last named, in the town of De Kalb, but the present pro 
ject has superceded there. 

Both the Utica and the Rome routes have been surveyed anc 
' located, and the most active eiforts have been made to secun 
subscriptions along the lines of each, w^hich, from Boonville U 
Theresa, a distance of about sixty miles, nearly coincide, am 
repeatedly cross each other. Both routes have been let to res« 
ponsible parties, and subscriptions suiiicient to warrant the UU' 
dertaking have been secured by each. 

An act was passed May 27, 1S53, makinc^ it lawful for tb< 
common council of the city of Utica to borrow, on the faith anci 
credit of that city, any sum of money not exceeding $250,000. 
for a term not exceeding twenty years, for the purpose of aidin]^ 
the construction of this road. Before this act could take effect, 
it was to be submitted to the lax paying voters of the cily, tit 
special meeting to be held for the purpose. On the same day, 
similar power was granted to the trustees of the village of Rome, 
to the extent of raising §150,000, for the Ogdensburgh, Carthagi 
and Rome Rail Road, the bonds to bear the corporate seal of the 
village, and their management to be entrusted to Roland S. Doty, .^ » 
Harvy Bray ton, William L. Howland, Gordon L. Bissell and ErL '~ 
Seymour, who were styled the " Commissioners of the Rail Road 
Fund of Rome." Both of these acts have since been confirms 
by large majorities at elections held for that purpose. 

Several prominent capitalists andcitizensof the village of Og- 
densburgh have decided upon an application to the legislature for a. 
similar power, to issue the bonds of their corporation for $100,000, 
and there is little doubt that such a measure would be sanctioned by 
the citizens, if submitted to their votes. There has long been a want ^^ | 
of sympathy at that place, in the welfare of the Northern Rail ^ ' 
Road, owing to the control which has been exercised by the 
Boston proprietors, and there seems to be a desire to secure a di- 
rect communication by rail road, independent of the one now con- 

The ceremony of breaking ground for the Black River and 
Utica Rail Road took place at Utica, August 27, at which ad- 
dresses were delivered by Governor Seymour, ex-Governor Hunt, 
and other distinguished gentlemen, and the occasion was cele- 
brated by military parade and general festivities. This road 
was contracted August 10, to be graded in 1854. The Rome 
road was let November 7, to be graded and ready for the super- 

Black River Company. 343 


mctare September 1, 1854, and work upon this has also been 

The active spirit of rivalry that has characterized these two 
mpaniesy and the determination which has been evinced by 
chy render it probable that one or both of them will be built; 
T has it been determined, at the time of our writing, whether 
in ion will not be effected from Boonville to Theresa, between 
lich points the routes of the two roads nearly coincide. 
A line has been surveyed by the Utica company, from near 
liladelphia to Rossie, and south of Black Lake to Ogdens- 
Tgh; and an eligible route is said to have been found. The 
evailing direction of the valleys correspond with that of this 

Telegraphs. — In 1850, O'Reiley's Merchants^ Line of tele- 
aph, operating on the Bain principle, was erected along the 
kge road, from Oswego, by way of Pulaski, Adams, Water- 
«rn, and Theresa, to Ogdensburgh, at each of which, offices 
•re opened. It was subsequently purchased by the Morse line, 
id on the 1st of February, 1853, the principle patented by 
ofessor Morse, was adopted. During the summer of 1853, a 
legraph was built by citizens of Sackets Harbor, along the 
rect plank road from Watertown to that place. 
Water Communication. — The incorporation of a company for 
iproving the navigation of Black River to Brownville Village, 
18 been noticed on page 99. The river was declared a public 
ghway, from High Falls to Carthage, by an act passed March 16, 
{21, which also authorized road commissioners to forbid the 
ossing of bridges faster than a walk, within fifty miles of its 
outh. On the 28th of March, 1828, .the Black River Canal 
ompany was formed. This company organized, and caused a 
irvey of a canal to be made, from Rome to the High Falls, 
f Alfred Cruger,but did nothing more. This may be considered 
c first step towards the Black River Canal, The route had 
»en noticed in the governor's message, in 1825, among many 
hers, and the first proposition was to construct a navigable com- 
unication from the Erie Canal, at Herkimer, to the head waters 
" Black River, and thence to Ogdensburgh. The former act 
iTing expired, another was passed, April 17, 1832, incorpora- 
Qg the Black River Company for the purpose of connecting, by 
irroads,or canals, the Erie Canal, at Rome, or Herkimer, with 
gdensburgh. Cape Vincent, or Sackets Harbor, including the 
aprovement of Black River, from the High Falls to Carthage 
»r steam navigation. The capital was limited to $900,000, in 
lares of $50 each; and one or more of the following sections 
3S to be completed within three years, viz: From the Erie 
ianal to High Falls; from the latter through Watertowa to 

344 Black River Canal 

Sackets Harbor; from Carthage to Sackets Harbor; from lb 
river at Carthage to Cape Vincent; from Carthage to Ogdens 
burgh, or the improvement of the river above Carthage for stea 
boat navigation. The persons named in the act, were Vinccn 
le Ray de Chaumont, Eli West, Samuel Allen, Ela Collins, 
John \V. Martin, Jerre Carrier, Elisha Camp, John Brown, 
Abram Parish, Charles A. Mann, George Varigh, Ralph Clapp, 
John Felt, Isaac W. Bostvvick, Homer Collins, James McV^ickar, 
Peter Schuyler, George Brayton, and Benjamin P. Johnson. Thi 
company was so far organized as to build a steam boat on Black 
River, at Carthage, which was called the Cornelia. It was buil 
in 1832, by Paul Boynton, for the company, at a cost of $6,000, 
with a keel 90 feet long, and a breadth, across the guards, of 22 
feet. She had two upright, high pressure engines, of ten hors 
power each, built by N. Starbuck & Son, of Troy. Being found to 
draw too much water, one engine was taken out. The first trip 
was September 22, 1832, to Lowville, where she grounded, and 
was got oif with much difficulty. The boat continued to run, 
the ensuing season, to the High Falls, with an hourly speed 
of six and one half miles, frequently getting aground, and 
proving to be too large for the river, and, eventually, nearly a 
total loss to the proprietors, of whom, Mr. Le Ray was the prin- 
cipal. A thrilling incident occurred on the first trip of this boat 
to the Falb. The man at the tiller wishing to show the party 
on board, and the spectators on shore, the qualities of his craft, 
steered up so near under the falls, that, as he turned, the spray 
from the torrent deluged the deck, and the boat, itself, came 
within a few feet of being brought under the fall. Fortunately 
there was a heavy pressure of steam up at the moment, and they 
escaped with a thorough drenching. This attempt proved the 
practicability of navigating the river forty-two and a half miles; 
but no subsequent attempt was made until the summer of 1853, 
when the Enterprise, a canal boat, temporarily fitted up by G. 
H. Gould, for the purpose, wMth a stern wheel, was rigged out 
at the High Falls, and made a few trips. 

On the 22d of April, 1834, an act was passed, authorizing the 
survey of a canal, from below the High Falls to the Erie Canal, 
with a navigable feeder, and an improvement of the river to Carth- 
age. Having ascertained the feasibility of this route, on the 19th 
of April, 1836, an act was passed, providing for the construction 
of the Black River Canal, and Erie Canal Feeder, of which 
the river was to be a part. Work was soon after commenced, 
and more or less, except during the " suspension," prosecuted 
since, till at present we almost realize this long expected, and 
long deferred communication with the great markets; which, 
from being anticipated by rail roads, will possess much less im- 

Black River Cmd. 345 

portance than \ras formerly attached to it. Still, for the lumber 
and mineral products of a portion of the county, it will aSbrd a 
Taliiable exit, and will contribute to the public welfare. 

IVIany interesting topographical details have been obtarned in 
the course ot these surveys, which possess permanent interest. 
The following is a concise description of the canals, as given in 
the report of the state engineer and surveyor for 1S51 (p. 77): 
" This canal diverges from the Erie Canal, at the village of 
Home, Oneida County, following up the valley of the Mohawk 
Hiver and its tributary, the Lansinj^ Kill, to the sumnflt level, a 
distance of twenty -three miles; thence crossing the dividing 
ricJge between the Mohawk and Black Rivers, about two miles, 
to the village of Boonville; thence descends into the valley of 
the Black River, and at the distance of ten and one-third miles 
it enters said river below the High Falls, in the county of 
JLiewis; thence it follows the river, by slack water navigation, a 
distance of forty-two and one-half miles, to the village of Car- 
thage, in the county of Jefferson, making the whole length of 
the canal and river about seventy-eight miles. 

A navigable feeder, of ten miles in length, is constructed from 
the Black River, entering the canal at the village of Boonville, 
which is desip^ned for a feeder to the Black River Canal, and 
also for the Erie Canal. Add to the canal, river and feeder, 
two miles of navigation on the reservoir above the State Dam, 
snaking in all ninety miles of navigation, when the whole work 
is finished. 

From Rome to Boonville, a distance of twenty-five miles, 
there are seventy locks, overcoming an elevation of six hundred 
sincl ninety-three feet, which are distributed as follows: Five 
single locks of eight feet lift, three of nine feet, forty-six of ten 
feet, four of eleven feet, one of twelve feet, two combinations of 
three each of ten feet, and one combination of five locks, each 
ten feet lift. There are also located, on this part of the canal, 
ibur aqueducts, eight culverts, seven waste-weirs, seventeen 
road bridges, eighteen farm bridges, one dam and bulk-head, 
eighteen lock houses built, and three to build, and a feeder and 
guard-lock at Delta, yet to be built. 

From Boonville to the High Falls, a distance of ten and one- 
third miles, there are located thirty-nine locks, with a descent of 
three hundred and eighty-six feet, the lifts of which are as fol- 
lo^ws: Four single locks of nine feet lift, ten often feet, one of 
ten and one-half feet, one of eleven and one-half feet, one of 
twelve feet; one combination of four locks, each nine feet; two 
combinations of four, each ten feet; one combination of three, 
each ten feet; one combination of three, WMth two of ten feet 
and one of four feet; one combination of two, of eleven feet, 
and one combination of two, of twelve feet. 

346 Black River Canal 

There are, also, one aqueduct, seven culverts, one waste-weir, 
six road biidges, sixteen farm bridges, two change bridges, and 
one dam, located on this part of the canal, and when brought 
into use, eleven lock houses will be required. 

On the Black River Feeder, from Boonville, to and including 
the reservoir on the Black River, a distance of twelve miles, 
there are located, one guard-lock, three culverts, three waste- 
weirs, ten road bridges, two farm bridges, one tow-path bridge, 
one dam, one lock house, and six stop-gates. On the Black 
River, befween High Falls and Carthage, a distance of forty-two 
and one-half miles, are located, one dam at Carthage, and two 
draw bridges, one at Illingworths, and the other at Beach's 

On the whole line of canal, feeder and river, there will be 
one hundred and nine locks, five aqueducts, eleven waste-weirs, 
eighteen culverts, thirty-three road bridges, thirty-six farm 
bridges, three change and tow-path bridges, two guard-locks, 
one dam and bulk-head, three dams, thirty-three lock houses, six 
stop-gates, two draw bridges, and the Delta feeder." 

At the time when the work was suspended, in 1842, the sec- 
tion work south ot' Boonville was mostly done, except on five 
sections; forty -seven locks were mostly fini.shed, except framing 
and hanging gates, and a large amount of other work was more 
or less completed; but during the five years that the labor was 
suspended, a great part of the timber was so injured as to be- 
come almost useless. North of Boonville, about six miles of 
section work had been let, of which two were completed, and 
the others well advanced. Two locks were nearly finished, and 
the feeder had been about half done. Two culverts were built 
upon it, and the materials in part delivered for the guard-lock 
and dam. The value of materials on hand, at that time, was 
$60,383-86, of which $20,000 worth were made available, and 
the remainder was a loss to the stale. 

In 1851, the canal had been brought into use as far as Port 
Leyden, and such is the forwardness of the remainder, that its 
completion to Carthage appears not distant. During the dry 
season of 1849, all the water at the head of the feeder was used, 
and still there was a deficiency of 7000 cubic feet per minute. 
This led to a plan for ensuring a supply by constructing dams 
at the outlpts of some of the lakes above this point which receive 
the drainage of many thousand acres. 

The descent of Black River from the High Falls to Carthage 
is 9i feet in low water, and 23 feet in high water; as at such 
times the rise at the former place is 22 feet, and at Carthage 
but eight feet. The quantity of water passing the falls at its 
lowest stage is about 30,000 cubic feet per minute, and is not 

Black River Canal 347 

materially increased until it receives the Otter and Independence 
Creeks. Among the several plans that were proposed to im- 
prove the channel, that of constructing a dam and Jock near In- 
dependence Creek, is said to have been decided upon. A dam 
is also to be built at the village of Carthage above the present 
dam, where the river is about 700 feet wide, and from three to 
four feet deep in low water, with a rock bottom. 

In 1837, the project of extending the Black River Canal from 
Carthage to Ogdensburgh, or some point on the St. Lawrence, 
began to be discussed; and in the fall of 1838 meetings were 
held at Watertown, Evans' Mills, Theresa, and other places. 
Petitions, memorials, and statistics, were forwarded to the legis- 
lature, and on the 2(1 of May, 1839, a bill was passed author- 
izing a survey of the several routes proposed. This labor was 
entrusted to Edward H. Brodhead, who, in the summer of 1839, 
surveyed a route from Carthage to Clayton, from Carthage to 
Sackets Harbor, from Carthage to Ox Bow, and thence, by im- 
j)roving the Oswegatchie, to Ogdensburgh, and another branch of 
this route to Gouverneur, and thence near the river to Ogdens- 
burgh. By these surveys, Carthage was found to be 480 feet 
above the lake. These surveys created a lively interest through- 
out the central and northern parts of the county, and a conven- 
tion from St. Lawrence and a part of Jefferson Counties met at 
Gouverneur on the 27th of June, 1839, at which, a series of reso- 
lutions was passed, reasserting the claims of northern New York 
iipon a share of the state patronage, and the wants of this sec- 
tion for a cheap and direct access to market. The report of Mr. 
JBrodbead, with an accompanying map, was submitted to the 
legislature in 1840,* and provision was made for the selection 
of one of the routes surveyed, by three disinterested men from the 
1st, 2d and 3d, or 8th, senate districts; but a change of policy in 
Jelation to the minor public works, which also suspended the 
larger, put an end to the discussion by postponing it indefinitely. 
The experience at present had in relation to railways renders it 

Erobable that the subject of a canal beyond Carthage will never 
B revived. 
On the 12th of April, 1848, the Black River Steam Boat Com- 
jKmy was chartered for fifteen years, with a capital of $25,000, 
to baild one or more boats to navigate the river, subject to such 
tolls as might be imposed. The persons named in the act were 
Amos Buck, Harrison Blodget, Hiram McCollom, Dean S. How- 
ard, Lyman R. Lyon, Alburn Foster, Alfred Lathrop, Walter 
Nimocks^Eli West, Charles Day an, James Smith, Wm. F. Strong, 

* AsMmbly Documenti, 1840, No. 233. 


348 Navigation of the Lakes. 

Elijah Horr and Reuben Rice. A subscription was circulated. 

but nothing was accomplished by this company. 

By an act of April 15, 18 L6, the Oswegatchie was declared a 
highway, from its mouth to Streeter's Mills, the present village 
of Wegatchie. On the 5th of April, 1853, Indian River was 
declared a public highway for floating logs in Antwerp, Phila- 
delphia, Le Rciy, and Theresa, and the usual penalties were 
imposed for obstructing the channel. 

From the earliest period of our existence as a state, the St. 
Lawrence was regarded as a natural outlet for the great chain 
of inland lakes, for which it served, in a great measure, as the 
channel of trade, until the construction of the Erie Canal. Both 
the French and the English had built vessels on this lake, while 
the supremacy of its waters was with them. A small but thriving 
commerce had arisen before the war, and during that period a 
formidable naval force sprung into existence, that was opposed 
by a similar one, fitted out at Kingston; and the hostile fleets 
upon Lake Ontario, at the close of the war, were increasing in 
number of sail, and amount of force, with a rapidity that has had 
few parallels in naval annals. 

At the conclusion of peace, these fleets were gradually broken 
up, or converted to commercial purposes, and, almost immediately 
after, the application of steam to navigation, which had already 
assumed importance on the Hudson and other waters, began to 
be applied to the lakes. 

The subject having been examined in the summer and fall of 

1815, articles of agreement were drawn up, datetl January 2, 

1816, between Harriet Fulton, and Wm. Cutting, of jSew York, 
executors of Robert Fulton, and Robert R. Livingston, and 
Edward P. Livingston, of Clermont, owners of the right and 
privilege of steam boat navigation in the state, by special act of 
the legislature, on the one part; and Charles Smyth, Joseph C. 
Yates, Thomas C. Duane, and David Boyd, on the other part, by 
which the latter acquired the sole right to navigate boats and 
vessels (steam ships and vessels of war excepted) by steam, on 
all or any of the waters of Lake Ontario, within the state of New 
York, and the full and entire, and exclusive right, of employing 
in the navigation of the same waters such inventions and im- 
provements, in the navigation of boats by steam or fire, to which 
the grantors, or any of them, had or hereafter might have right 
or title by patent, &c. 

It was provided and stipulated, that but one boat should be 
employed at a time on any route to be established on the said 
waters, by virtue of this contract, without the consent in writing 
of the grantors, and until the net proceeds of the said one boat 
should exceed twenty per cent per annum. One boat was to be 

Steam Pfaoigation on Ldkt Ontario. 349 

built within ttro years. The grantees paid ten dollars on th« 
ezecutioD of the agreement, and covenanted to pay, annually, 
on the first of Janiiar)- (deducting $1,500 from the gross receipts 
of each year, and Ihe current expenses of running the boat), 
one half of all moneys received above twelve per cent on the 
inreStnient. The $1,500 was to be withdrawn, annually, until 
it should amount to $ 12,000, which was to constitute a sinking 
fund fm rebuiiding the boat. Should the grantees acquire from 
the British government any privi](^es for the navigation of the 
lake, they were to be shared equally by the contracting parties, 
•nd these privileges were not transferable. Application was to 
be made for the incorporation of an association, to be styled the 
Ontario Steam Boat Company, with a capital of $200,000. 

On the 6lh of February, 1816, a petition from Charles Smyth, 
David Boyd, Eri Lusher, Abraham Van Santvoord, John J, De 
Graff', and their associates, was presented, in which the essential 
facts, above stated, were given, and an act of incorporation 
■elicited. A bill was prepared and passed the house, by a vote 
of 76 to 40, but did not become a law, in consequence of the 
early adjouVnment of the legislature. On the 16th of August, of 
the same year, Eri Lusher, and Charles Smyth, became, by assign- 
meot of De GrafT and Boyd, partners in the enterprise, and a 
boat vas commenced at Sackets Harbor, the same summer, after 
the model of the Sea Horse, then running on the Sound near New 
York. She was 1 10 feet long, 24 feet wide, and eight feet deep, 

Itrtl StiamBoal an Iht Gnat Laku, 

aeasuring 237 tons. The boilers are said to have been seventeen 
tett long and three and a half feet in diameter, with a cross head 
rngioe, and cylinder of twenty inches diameter, and three feet 
itroke; wheels eleven feet four inches across, and capacity of en- 
gine, twenty-one horse power. 
The following applicatioa for an act of iocorporatioii, ia 

350 Steam Navigation on Lake Ontario* 

without date, but was drawn up in December, ^816, for the 8es« 
sion of the legislature next ensuing. 

" To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of Kew York: 

The petition ot Charles Smyth, of the city of Albany, and Eri 
Lusher, of the city of Schenectady, who, together with Major Ge- 
neral Jacob Brown, are the proprietors of the exclusive right to 
the navigation of the American waters of Lake Ontario by steam 
or fire, most humbly showeth: 

That your petitioners, with M. T. Woolsey, Samuel F. Hooker, 
Hunter Crane, and Elisha Camp, Esquires, have lately constructed 
a steam boat at Sackets Harbor,* that they are desirous of ob- 
taining an act of incorporation for a company, under the style of 
the Lake Ontario Steam Boat Company, with a capital of 
two hundred thousand dollars, and power to establish branches at 
. Lewiston, Genesee River, Oswego, Sackets Harbor, Cape Vin- 
cent and Ogdensburgh; that whatever reasons may be urged 
against steam boats in other parts of the country, on Lake Onta- 
rio, Ihey can not fail of producing the best effects, as instead of 
injuring the villages on its banks, they will materially tend to 
promote their increase and prosperity; that the cost of a boat so 
far exceeds the means which mercantile men, generally, can now 
command, that your petitioners are unable to build any further, 
and for obvious reasons, they can not induce large capitalists to 
embark with them without an act of incorporation; that the 
English in the province of Upper Canada have constructed a 
steam boat of seven hundred tons burthen, avowedly for the 
purpose of engrossing the business of both sides of the lake; that 
independent of the wealth of the individuals composing that 
association, the provincial government has promised them every 
encouragement, and has actually passed an order in council, impos- 
ing a duty of two dollars and fifty cents per ton on all American 
vessels above one hundred tons burthen, by which means the 
steam boat of your petitioners, exceeding two hundred tons, is 
effectually excluded from the Canadian waters, while the Eng- 
lish boat may freely navigate ours, in which nosuch tonnage duty 

It is well known toyour petitioners and to every man acquaint- 
ed with the commerce of the lakes, that an establishment of thi.. 
nature will be of very great benefit to the inhabitants of the 
western country. The delays which now occur in the transport- 
ation of property destined for Detroit and the settlements on 
Lake Eric, would be, in a great measure, removed, and with them 
the objections frequently maileby merchants from that quarter to 
extensive purchases in Albany and New York. 

The navy department of the United States, apparently influ- 

Steam Navigation on Lake Ontario. 351 

enced by an opinion of the great utility of steam boats on Lake 
Ontario, generously directed a sufliciency of timber from the na- 
val depot to be delivered to the agent of one of your petitioners, 
upon his paying therefor a reasonable sum of money. The boat 
is now built, and if the experiment succeed, it is the intention of 
your petitioners to grant privileges to as many associations on 
the American shore as apply for a righf. They therelbre hum- 
bly entreat that your honorable body will be pleased to grant them 
the charter prayed for, or, if that should be deemed improper, 
such an act of incorporation as will enable them to dispense the 
advantages of steam navigation to their fellow citizens from 
Lewiston to Ogdensburgh. 

And as in duty bound. 

Your petitioners will ever pray. 
(Signed) Charles Smyth. 

Eki Lusher. 

This application did not succeed. Early in 1817, the steamer 
Ontario was completed and performed her first trip, being every 
tirhere greeted with the most lively demonstrations (;f joy. Bon- 
fires, illuminations, and mutual congratulations of friends, bespoke 
the satisfaction with which this achievement was regarded, and 
the event was hailed as a 7iew era in the commerce of the lakes. 
Weekly trips from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston were first attempted, 
but on the first of July, 1817, the owners advertised, that finding 
the trip of about 600 miles, too extensive to be performed within 
that time, it would be altered to ten days. The fare through 
was fixed at $15. Capt. Francis Mallaby, U. S. N., was her first 
master. The Ontario continued to run, seldom exceeding five 
miles an hour, until 1832, when she was broken up at Oswego. 

The monopoly of steam navigation on the waters of the state, 
granted by repeated acts of the legislature to Robert R. Liv- 
ingston and Robert Fulton, gave rise to much litigation; and, in 
in a suit of Ogden against Gibbons, commenced in the Court of 
Chancery, September 27, 1819, it was decided in favor of the 

An appeal w^as made to the Court of Errors,t and the case 
was finally decided in the Supreme Court of the United States,| 
in February, 1824, that the act was " repugnant to the clause 
of the Constitution of the United States, which authorises 
Congress to regulate commerce, so far as the said acts pro- 
hibit vessels, licensed according to the laws of the United States, 
for carrying on the coasting trade, from navigating the said 
waters by means of fire or steam." 

•♦Johnson^s Chancery Reports, iv, 148. fCowen's Reports, iii, 713. 
t Whoaton^s Reports, ix, 1 . 

352 Steam Boat9. — Wreck of the Martha Ogden. 

The Ontario was the first steamer built on a water subject to ■ 
swell, and determined the interesting problem that steam boats 
were adapted to the navigation of open seas, as well as sheltered 
rivers. The Fronienac was built soon after, at Kingston, and 
the next season the first steamer appeared on Lake Erie. 

The Martha Ogden was built in 1819, at Sackets Harbor, and 
continued in use until lost in 1832, under the following circum- 
stances: The boat (William Vaughan, master) had left Osweffo 
on the afternoon of November 12, when she encountered a galei 
and being unable to regain the port, started for Sackets Harbor; 
but a leak having sprung, the fires were put out, and her sails 
were raised. The wind, which in the afternoon had been S. W., 
veered to W. N. W., then N. W., and lastly N., which prevented 
her from doubling Stony Point. Both anchors were thrown 
out in eight and a half fathoms, which held from 4 till 11 p. il, 
when they successively parted, and she soon after struck and 
bilged in ten feet of water. There were on board six hands, and 
twenty-two passengers. With much peril, a man at length 
reached the shore, eight rods from the boat, rallied the inhabit- 
ants, built fires, and in the morning a line was passed to the 
shore, and the whole company on board were safely drawn 
ashore in a three-bvshcl basket, rigged upon aline, with a Dutch 
harness. Captain Vaughan was the last one to leave the wreck, 
which went to pieces during the day. She was owned by S. & 
L. Denison, of Sackets Harbor, and proved a total loss. This 
vreck occurred at Nutting's Bay, on the coast of Henderson. 

The Sophia, Rohbins, Black Hawk (afterward the Dolphin), 
Brovmville (afterwards the William Jlvery), Charles CarroU, 
(afterwards the America), ^lhA Paul Pry, were steamers on 
the lake and river, built at an early period, and previous to 

On the 28th of January, 1831, an act was passed constituting 
Joseph Denison and his associates a corporate body, under the 
name of the Ontario and St. Ijucrence Steam Boat Company, 
with a capital of $100,000, and limited in duration to May 1st, 
1850. The owners of the Ontario and Martha Ogden, hereto- 
fore employed in navigating the lake and river, were entitled to 
the amount of the appraised value of those boats. The affairs of 
the company were to be managed by fifteen directors, of whom 
the first were to be Joseph Denison, Edward Bronson, Gerrit 
Smith, Elias Trowbridge, Theopilus S. Morgan, Richard L. 
De Zeng, Horatio N. Walton, Josiah T. Marshall, John T. 
Trowbridge, Frederick Bushnell, Elisha Camp, Jacob Arnold, 
William Baron,* John C. Bush, and Samuel Denison. The stock- 
holders were jointly and severally liable for the debts contracted 

• ''Baron,'* ia the t£t) probably WiUiam ^aco*. 

Steam Jfavigation on Lake Ontario. 353 

by the corporation, and persons having demands against the 
company might sue any stockholder or director for the recovery 
of the same. The place of business of the company was to be 
fixed at Oswego, and its transactions limited solely to the navi- 
gation oftheOntario and River St. Lawrence. This company built 
at Ogdensburgh the steamer United States, which for size and 
amount of accommodation, far surpassed any boat that had been 

Sreviously run by Americans on this water. She was launched in 
lovember, 1831, and came out on h«r first trip July 1st, 1832, 
under the command ot Elias Trowbridge. Her dimensions were 
as follows: length, 142 feet; width, 26 feet beam, and 55 feet 
overall; depth of hold 10 feet; engines, low pressure, with a 
40 inch cylinder and 8 feet stroke. Cost, $56,000. She con- 
tinued running on the through line, from Ogdensburgh to Lew- 
iston, till 1838, when, having become obnoxious to the Canadians 
from the use made of her at the affair at the Wind-mill, near 
Prescott, she was run upon the lake only afterwards, until 1843, 
when she was broken up at Oswego, and her engines transferred 
to the Rochester. 

The following boats have since been built on this lake: 

Oswego, at that place, 1833, 286 to; is. After running six 
3rears her engines were transferred to the St, Lawrence. 

Jack Douming, built at Carthage in 1834, by Paul Boynton, 
Qnd drawn on wheels to Sackets Harbor — very small. After- 
'Vrards a ferry boat. 

Oneida, of 227 tons, built at Oswego in 1836; A. Smith first 
master; owned by Henry Fitzhugh of Oswego, E. B. Allen ana 
G. N. Seymour of Ogdensburgh. In 1845 fitted up as a sail ves- 
sel, and lost at Lake Erie. 

Telegraph, 196 tons, built at Dexter, in 1836; owned by 
parties at Utica, Watertown and Sackets Harbor; afterwards 
changed to a sail vessel, and burnt on Lake St. Clair. 

Express, built at Pultneyville, m 1839 — H. N. Throop, first 
master and part owner. Laid up in 1850. 

St. Lawrence, 402 tons, enrolled at Oswego, in 1839; rebuilt 
in 1844, and increased to 434 tons; cost $50,000. Laid up at 
Clayton, in 1850. Length 180 feet, beam 23 feet, hold 11 feet. 

Ueorge Clinton and President, small boats, built at Oswego, 
about 1842. 

John Marshall, a small steamer wrecked in a storm off 
the mouth of Sandy Creek, October 18, 1844. Several other 
boats, of minor class, have at various times run upon the lake 
and St. Lawrence River. 

The corporation that built the steamer United States, never 
a^empted any other boat. About 1842, a stock company, styled 
the Ontario Steam and Canal Boat Company^ was formed at 

354 Steam Navigation on Lake OntariiK 

Oswes^o, and in that year built the Lady of the Lake^ of 
tons, which was used on the through line until 1852, when she 
was chartered as a ferry, from Cape Vincent to Kingston, in 
connection with the rail road. She was the first American boat 
on this water, with state-rooms on the upper deck. 

The Rochester was built at Oswego, by the same company^ in 
1843, of 354 tons, and run on the through line till 1848, since 
which she has run from Lewisiton to Hamilton. 

The JViagara^ of 433 tons, built at French Creek, by the St* 
Lawrence Steam Boat Company y which had been formed soon 
after that at Oswego. This boat is still in use in the American 
Mail Line; has a length of 182 feet; beam, 27^ feet; total 
breadth, 47 feet; depth of hold, 7^ feet. The engine was built 
at the Archimedes Works, in New York, and has a cylinder 40 
inches in diameter, with 11 feet stroke; wheels, 30 feet in 

The Cataracty built at Clayton, in 1847, measures 577 tons; 
length of keel, 202 feet; breadth of beam, 27^ feet; across the 
guards, 48 feet; depth of hold, 10 feet; wheels, 30 feet in di- 
ameter. Engines, by H. R. Dunham & Co., Archimedes Works, 
New York; cylinder 44 inches in diameter, and a stroke of 11 
feet; cost about $60,000. Commanded, in 1847-8, by James 
Van Cleve; in 1849-51, by R. B. Chapman, and in 1852^, by 
A. D.Kilby. 

Ontario, was built in 1847, at Clayton. Extreme length, 
240]^ feet; breadth of beam, 32 feet, and over all, 54} feet; 
iiepth of hold, 12 feet. Engine, by T. [F. Secor & Co., New 
York; cylinder, 50 inches in diameter, and 11 feet stroke. Ton- 
nage, 900. Cost, $80,000. 

Bay State, built at Clayton, and came out on her first trip in 
June, 1849, with James Van Cleve, master, the first season. 
She has a tonnage of 935, and the following dimensions, viz: 
Length, 222 feet; breadth of beam, 31^ feet, and over all, 58 
feet; depth of hold, 12 feet. Engines from Archimedes Works, 
New York, with cylinder 56 inches in diameter, and 11 feet 
stroke. Wheels, 32 feet in diameter. 

The Northerner y built at Oswego, by G. S. Weeks, and came 
out in May, 1850. Tonnage, 905. Length, 232 feet; beam, 
30} feet; extreme breadth, 58 feet; depth of hold, 12| feet; 
wheels, 32 feet in diameter. Cost, $95,000. Engines, by T. F. 
Secor & Co., with cylinder 60 inches in diameter, and 11 feet 

The Kew York, the largest steamer on the lake, was built in 
1851-2, at Clayton, by John Oades, the builder of the others at 
this place, and came out on her first trip in August, 1852, with 
R. B. Chapman, master. Tonnage, 994. Length, 224 feet; 

Sieam Navigation on Lake Ontario. 355 


beam, 32| feet; entire breadth, 64 feet. Engines, by H. R. 
Dunham & Co., of New York; cylinder, 60 inches in diameter, 
and 12 feet stroke. Wheels, 64 leet in diameter, and cost about 

In 1848, the two companies above named, which were gener- 
ally styled The Utica Company, and the SL Lawrence Com- 
pany, united into one, and assumed the name of the Ontario 
and St. Lawrence Steam Boat Company, having a capital of 
J750,000, and the following officers: E. B. ||Allen, president; 
E. B. Allen, G. N. Seymour, H. Van Rensselaer, A. Chapman, 
E. G. Merrick, S. Buckley, H. Fitzhugh, A. Munson, T. S. Fax- 
ton, H. White, L. Wright, directors; and James Van Cleve, 
HCretary and treasurer. 

This company is the owner of eleven steamers, in daily use 
during the summer season, as follows: 

Express Line^ from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston direct, touching 
at Clayton and Cape Vincent, a daily line of two steamers, from 
May till October, viz: Bay Sfate^ Captain John Ledyard, and 
mATev} York, Captain R. B. Chapman. 

Mail Liney from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston, touching a*t Pres- 
cott, Morristown, Brockville, Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Kings- 
ton, Sackets Harbor, Oswego, Genesee River and Lewiston. A 
daily line of three steamers, viz: Cataract, Captain A. D. 
Kilby; J^iagara, Captain G. B. Estes; Ontario, Captain H. N. 
Throop. In 1852, the steamer JYorthernery Captain R. F. Child, 
formed one of this line. 

The Jimerican Line, from Ogdensburgh to Montreal daily, 

viz: British Qt/e^n, Captain J. LaFlamme; British Empire^ 

Captain D. S. Allen; Jenny Lind, Captain L. Moody. From 

Cape Vincent to Kingston, The Lady of the Lake, Captain Root. 

From Lewiston to Hamilton, the Rochester, Captain I. Mason. 

In safety, regularity and despatch, these boats will com- 

Eare with those on any inland water in the Union; and such 
as been the skill and care exercised in their management, 
that not a single life has been lost, or injury to passengers 
occurred from accident, upon these, or any of the steamers 
owned and run upon the American side of the lake. The me- 
lancholy accident that befel the Ocean Wave, a boat with a 
British license, and running in connection with the Northern 
Rail Road, in the spring of 1853, is entirely without parallel 
upon this lake, and was said to be due to a faulty construction. 
The multiplied means of safety which are provided, according 
to law, upon these boats, would do much to prevent the tragic 
results, which, with the exemplary care exercised, could scarcely 
happen. The steamers upon this lake are characterized for the 
perfection, neatness and convenience of their arrangements, and 

356 Steam Navigation on Lake Ontario* 

the attractive scenery upon their routes; and the throng of plea- 
sure-seeking tourists that pass up and down the St. Lawrence 
during the summer season, is constantly increasing. 

The steamer IJay St^te, during the season of 1852, run 47,310 
miles, equal to sixteen times across the Atlantic, and her wheels 
performed 5,000,000 of revolutions. No accidents or delays, what- 
ever, occurred. The duty, performed by the other boats, would 
doubtless compare with this. 

No opportunity has occuired to collect the statistics of steam 
navigation, upon the Canadian side of the lake. 

The Passport, Magnet, Maple Leaf, New Era, Arabian, Lord 
Elgin, St. Lawrence, Boston, and other boats, were running upon 
regular lines, in 1853, some of them from Montreal to Hamilton, 
and the Champioiiy Highlander and May Flower^ formed a daily 
line between Cape Vincent and Hamilton, touching at the prin- 
cipal ports on the north shore of the lake. 

The Watertown and Rome Rail Road, and the Northern Rail 
Road, have each lines of propellers running to the Upper Lakes, 
connecting with freight trains, andaflfording families of emigrants 
to the Vestern country, a cheap and convenient mode of passage. 

In accordance with a law of Congress, passed March 3, 1849, 
sail vessels on the northern lakes are required to display in the 
night time a red light, if on the starboard tack; a green one, if 
on the larboard, and vessels going oflf large or before the wind, a 
white light. Steam boats and propellers are required to carry by 
night, a triangular light, with red glass on the larboard, and green 
on the starboard side, with reflectors, and of suflficient size to 
give a good light. A failure to observe these regulations, renders 
the parties liable to all damage resulting, and a fine of $100. 

The exemption from accident, which these steamers have 
hitherto enjoyed, may be ascribed, in part, to the excellence of 
their construction, and, in part, to the direct interest of the oflScers 
of the boats in their safe management, from their pecuniary in^ 
terest invested in them. A submarine railway at Ogdensburgh, 
now constructing, is destined to confer great benefits upon the 
navigation of the lake, by affording the means for taking the 
largest class of steamers and vessels out of the water for repairs. 

Statuiici qf Papulation and Rewurces. 




The following table gives the results of the several censuses, 
taken by order of the state and general governments, since the 
first settlement of the county. The returns for 1807 give the 
number of legal voters, with property qualifications, only. In 
1801 there were 76 voters -in Champion, and 134 in Watertown. 






Cape Vuicent 






La Ray 












1307. 1 1810. 

103 1,376 

]dl< 1,663 

l!^ 1^481 

96 1,735 

12Sj 1,333 

220 ! 1)43 

153, 1,150 

161 bl2 


2361 1,377 
230 1,73d 

231 1,841 












Tolal ll,9S) 15,14.31 1-,504 33.SS2 

2 944 







3 415 
3 557 


2 550 
2 503 



1S30. ! 1835. 

3.9('5 2 970 

1,623 I 2,701 

2.412 2 014 

2,038 I 2,890 




3,416 4,708 
1,120 I 1,002 




3 200 




41.941 4^425 .-.^79^ 



2, 1 09 


00,549 01,999 



: 2.265 


The grades of qualification in 1801, in the two towns 
then comprising the county, were as follows: Champion, worth 
JSIOO and upwards, one; worth less than JE20, but renting pro- 
perty worth 40^. per ann.,75. Watertown, worth JEIOO and up- 
wards, two; V orth less than JE20, but renting property worth 40 s. 
per annum, 132. In 1807 the result was as follows: 



Harrison . . . 
Henderson . 


















I 07 


22 I 





40 s. 



Le Ray 












Watertown . . . 







The census of 1810, gaye^the following returns of manufactures 
In thb county : 

368 Stati9tic9. 

Cotton goods made in families, yards (av. 32 cts.), 1^392 

Flaxen goods made in faniilies, yds. (av. 371 cts.), 106jfi23 

Blended and unnamed cloths, yds. (av. 35 cts.), 1,475 

Woolen goods made in families, yds. (av. 871 cts.), 51,013 

Looms, 660 

Carding machines 5, pounds carded (av. 50 cts. per lb.), 35,000 

.Fulling mills 8, yards lulled (av. $1-25 per yd.), 4O000 

Hatterics 2, hats made (av. $2*50), 1,000 

Furnaces 2, tons of iron (av. from $100 to $120 per ton),. 50 

Trip hammers, • S* 

Tanneries, 16 

Hides tanned 750 (av. $4*25 each), calfskins 1,000 (av. $M2each.) 

Oil mills 3. gallons made (av.$ 1*25), 9,650 

Distilleries 16, gallons made (av. 80 cts.),. 32^000 

Breweries 2, gallons made (av. 17 cts.), 25,600 

Paper mills 1, reams made {av. $3.), 900 

The census of 18 14, taken in pursuance of an act passed 
April 15, of that year, gave the following results: 

Total population in the thirteen towns, 18#S64 

FIcctors, with freeholds of the value of £100, 1,039 

Electors, with freeholds worth from £20 to £100, 107 

Electors, not freeholders, renting tenements worth 40tf. per ann., 1,641 

Free white males, under 18 years of age, 5^367 

Free white males, of the age of 18 and under 45, • • 3^376 

Free white males, of 45 years and upwards, ••... 716 

Free white females, under 18 years, 5,204 

Free white females, of the age of 18 and under 45, 2^954 

Free white females, of 45 years and upwards, '• 700 

All other free persons, 217 

iS/arM(Brownville 1, Houndsfield 18, Le Ray 4, Watertowo 5, 

Wilna2), 30 

No statistics but those of population were taken at this time. 
The national census of 1820, gave the following returns: 

White males under 10, ... • 5,5()2 includ'g heads of families, 3,005 

White males from 10 to ]G, 2,459 , White females from 26 to 45, 

'' '' 16 to 18, 700 includ'g heads of families, 3,040 

« *• " 16 to 2(3, White females of 45 and up- 

includ'g heads of families, 3,831! wards, including heads of 

White males from 26 to 45, families, 1,250 

includ'g heads of families, 4,143 Foreigners not naturalized,. 787 

White males, 45 and upw'ds, | Persons eng'd in agriculture, 134 

includ'g heads of families, 1,574 " ** manufactures, 1,603 

White females under 10, .. 5,521 ; Sloves(Antwerp4,LeRay 1) 5 

While females from 10 to 16, 2^7 Colored males, free, 79 

" ■ *' " 16 to 26, i Colored females, free, 63 

StatistPcs of agriculture and manufactures were taken in 
1820, but w^e are not aware that they were printed in detail by 
separate counties. 

The several state censuses, taken in 1825, 1835, and 1845, 
give the following numbers of the different classes of populationi 
and statistics of agriculture and manufaetures in this county. 





Sub'i MU>y duty, 




GoL penoiM not taxed, 

•* taxed 

•• ** voteru,.... 

"Mar. fern, under 43, 

Vomar. '* 16-45. . 

** "under 16,. 

Mar. year previou*,. . 

Birtlu male^, '* 

•• »rmalc», "... 

Dtnlhs male', *' 

•• femnlet, " . . . . 
^cret impruved land 
!^'eal cattle, 






. 5 OGU 

























259. 34( 



64 999: 

13 773 


8.399 > 
749 1 
1,02.5 i 
3^6 7t9 

*^nccp« ••••■••••••••• 


Yd*. fuUeJcl. >T.pre 

"' liaiinel &c 

*' linen, cuiton &c. 

Grw*. inilU, 

k'^aw mills 

Oil milU, 

Fulling inilN 

Carding mucin ue«... . 

Cotton t'aciorie«, 

WtMJcn laciories, 

Inm works 

Trip-hammers...... . 




Glass factories, 

Ro{)e fuciorie^, 


















li»35 I 1P45. 

57 695 
77 043 



























The census of 1830 and 1840 gave the following returns from 
^Jefferson County: 







"^''^VhiteB under 5«aa 























• • • • 




• • • • 


» 5 to 10 

« 10 ** 15 

« 15 « 20 


" 20 " 30 


" 30 •* 40 


** 40 " 50 


*• 50 " GO 


« CO " 70 


*« 70 " 80 


« 80 " 00 


•* 90 "100 


" over 100 

"^ll^lored persons 


From the census of 1840, we derive the following: 

Jast iron furnaces, 

6; tons •••• 

Forges — mill, 1 ; tons. . 
Tons of fuel consumed 

in furnaces 

Men employed 

Capital invested 

^2eac^— Smelting house, 1 ; 


Capital invested, 

thntt — Value of lumber. 
Tom pot and pearlash. 









Value of furs and skins $25 
Other products of the 

forest $15,854 

Men employed 131 

Manufactures — Machinery 

made $35,000 

Men employed 48 

Manufactures of metal. $22,000 

, Men employed 18 

Marble, value $30 

Bricks and lime $11,732 

Men employed 3d 



Total manufact'iniF cap- 


Wool—FuW'iu^ mills 

Woolen maniifactories. 

Value manufactured... 

Persons employed 

Capital invested 

CbMon— Factories, 1 ; spiu- 
dies. •• 

Value manufoctured . . • 

Persons employed 

Capital invested 

Tobacco — Manufactured . . 

Persons employed 

HaUjfyc — Value manufac- 

Value straw bonnets . . . 

Persons employed 

Capital invested 

Itcather — Tanneries 

Sides of sole leather 

Sides of upper leather 

Men employed 

Capital invested 

Other manufac. leather 

Value manufactured. . . 

Capital invested 

Soap and CandUs— Founds 
of soap 

Tallow candles, lbs. . . . 

Men employed 

Capital invested 

DUtilUd and Fermented Li- 
quors — Distilleries... . 

GraVlons produced 





























Gallons produced &iJ0O0 

• Men employed 31 

Capital invested $37,500 

Medicinal Drugs, PainU^e $1,500 

Paper — Manufactory, 1 ; 

value made $10,000 

Printing, ^c, — Offices. •• 4 

Binderies • I 

Weekly papers 5 

Men employed 28 ' 

Capital invested $15^ 

Cordage — Rope walk, 1; 

vakie made $8,000 

Men employed ^ 

Carrui^«,^-c— Value m'de [$44,400 

Men employed 7^ 

Capital invested $^,l^c 

Mills — Flouring mills. . • • 
Barrels of flour made . • 

Grist mills 

Saw mills 

Oil Mills _ 

Value of manufactures $5299,5.^ *«^ 

Men employed 1*^ ^ 

Capital invested $194^i^ 

Furniture — Value made.. $; 

Men employed 

Capital invested $9|34 

Houses — Built of wood 








year previous 

Brick and stone houses 

Men employed..* 31^ 

Value of buildings .... $233,799 
All other manufactures not 

enumerated $74 

Capital invested 

Total manufacturing cap- 

The census of 1845 gave many details, for which the 
ones afford no means of comparison, viz: 

Natives of New York, 50,582 




New England,.. 

" Other States,... 

" Gr. Britain and 


" France, 

" Germany, 

Natives of other European 


Children, between 5 and 16, 18,619 
«* attend. Com. Sch. 15,659 
« " Priv. " 623 

« « Academ.. 73 

«* " Colleges,. 14 




Baptist Churches,. 

Episcopal ^ 





Dutch Reform. 





Common Schools, 

Cost of Comm. Schools, $74,d3770 

** *' other improvem., $3i041*10 



• fl • 

• • • • 

. . • 

• . 

. • • 













sndance, 9^6 



Salary, t28,040-30 

Merchants, 200 

MaiiiifticturerB, 263 

Farmers, 11,002 

Inns, 118 

Wholesale stores, •••• 3 

Retail stores, 161 

Groceries, 57 


• • • 


>• • • 





• • • 




159,872 Wheat ('harv.;, 32,949 

153,374 Com, ........ 17,432 

6,974 , Rye, 9,989 

42,128 !l Oats, '. 26,462 

18,538 li Potatoes, 8.628 







3acre& — 208.545 pounds. 

Led, 41,360. Pounds of Butter, 3,080,767. Pounds of Cheese 


lus of 1850 not having been published, "we are una- 
more than the following statistics: 

Dwelling houses 11,926 

Families. 12i$£35 

Farms 5,500 

Munufacturingcapital, $1,443,002 
Raw material used .... $ 1 ,452!345 
Value of product. . . .$2,657,983 

Males employed 2,094 

Females " , 391 

Number of churches. . . 89 
Number of children at- 
tending schools. 18,605 

Acres of improved land 418,540 

(m.90, f.92), 
States born. . . 

I bom 

ir prev. June 1 

per month . . . 
over 20 who 














place of nativity of our citizens^ the census of 1850 

• • • .DOjll^ 
.... oo 

shire 816 
.... 2,055 
tts.. 1,877 

d* . • 


• • • • 









Virginia 11 

North Carolina.. 1 
South Carolina . . 1 

Georgia 1 

Louisiana 3 

Ohio 60 

Michigan 42 

Illinois 27 

Other states.... 31 

England 1,047 

Ireland 2,546 

Scotland 284 




Holland. ••»• . 


Switzerland . . 


British America 
West Indies ..•« 
Other countries. 

• • 











9wing list of revolutionary pensionersy and their \irid- 
; in the county, in 1840, will be read with interest 

362 Revolutionary PeMioners* 

From some inadvertence, Watertown and Champion do not 
occur on the official list from which we copy. The ages and 
place of residence of each are given: 

Mams — Peter Doxtater, 8S; Lucy Thompson, 73; Cynthia 
White, 77; John Merriam, 84; Abel Bassett, 80; Danforth 
Doty, 85. 

Alexandria — George Rappole, 89; William Carter, 83; Dan- 
iel Whorry, 75; Edith Patten, 80; Ephraim Hogert, 84; Peter 
Lutz, 76; Abram Newman, 81. 

Antiverp — Lydia Turner, 76; Noah French, 86; Martha 
Clark, 76;' Josiah Drake, 78. 

Brown viiie — John Baxter, 88; Walter Wilson, 85; Selah 
Burton, 79; David Rimiston, 93; John P. Beecher, 78. 

Clayton — Solomon Ingalls, 90; Hosea Randolph, 72; Lydia 
Dixon, 85; Amos Richards, 82; James Bothell, 82; Mary Da- 
vis, 73; Ab